The sewer flu may hit Kentucky teachers on Friday. “They were getting radical. They wanted to make a statement.”

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In Oklahoma, despite threats by the ignorant Betsy DeVos, teachers continue their walk-out for a second week.

In Kentucky teachers are back in classrooms.

At least for the moment.

But there are growing divisions among Kentucky educators about how to proceed.

Gov. Matt Bevin promises to veto the legislature’s proposed two-year state budget and a tax bill that generates hundreds of millions of dollars to help fund it.

The legislature has already passed a pension theft bill, secretly attaching it to another bill dealing with the state’s sewers.

Kentucky teachers stayed out of school on the Friday before Spring break to protest the failure of the state of Kentucky to support public education. Kentucky has been part of the national teacher revolt that has rolled through West Virginia, Oklahoma and Arizona.

Yesterday, Monday, many Kentucky teachers were ready to stay out again. The Kentucky Education Association (KEA) opposed a continued walkout.

Kentucky is a right-to-work state.  One Kentucky teacher friend of mine echoes the views of many educators in Kentucky when he referred to the KEA as “calcified.”

“There are a growing number of worried teachers and public education people who see the ship sinking here in Kentucky. Now that the governor has vetoed the budget, and the minimal taxes (dog grooming, bowling alley fees, etc.) which only promised to raise a couple of million dollars – with only two days remaining in the long session, they realize that they have not been well served by their self-enriching calcified teacher unions.”

In Pike County, a group of teachers openly disagrees with the KEA leadership.

A Pike group official said the effort in that Eastern Kentucky county goes against the wishes of the Kentucky Education Association, which has taken a cautious approach to school closures that is frustrating many Pike County teachers.

“(KEA) did not want us to announce that we were calling for a walkout on Friday,” said Patricia Lea Collins, a Pike County Strong administrator and the director of Pike County Schools’ Head Start program.

Collins said many Pike County teachers wanted schools to close all week, and that the group’s announcement gave teachers a plan of action that includes rallies and meetings throughout the week, culminating with the rally in Frankfort.

“Teachers on Thursday night need to start calling in with that sewer flu so that (Pike County Schools Superintendent) Mr. Adkins can cancel school Friday and get us there,” said Megan Smith, a teacher at Belfry Middle School, during the group’s video announcement.

Without Pike County Strong’s announcement Sunday night, Collins said, many teachers would have called in sick Monday, closing schools throughout the county.

“They were getting radical,” Collins said. “They wanted to make a statement.”

The “sewer flu” refers to the move by House Republicans to attach a pension theft bill to another bill that had dealt with sewer regulations.

The proposal would place teachers hired after Jan. 1, 2019 in a defined contribution pension rather than the existing defined benefit plan. It would require them to work longer before becoming eligible for retirement. The “inviolable contract” that protects reduction in future employee benefits would be limited to account balances in the new plan.




8 thoughts on “The sewer flu may hit Kentucky teachers on Friday. “They were getting radical. They wanted to make a statement.”

  1. I posted an online comment on an article headlined as, “DeVos rips Oklahoma teachers over strike: ‘Serve the students’” site and got a response back saying everything I posted was wrong. This person sent me the following bunch of trash. It tells everything that is right about choice. I’m appalled at such garbage that is being written and the people believe it. Faux news isn’t only for TV. It’s worth reading if you like throwing up.
    Myths about School Choice and Betsy DeVos

    …According to the latest available data, the average spending per student in private K-12 schools during the 2011-12 school year was about $6,762. In the same year, the average spending per student in public schools was $13,398, or about twice as much. These figures exclude state administration spending, unfunded pension liabilities, and post-employment benefits like healthcare—all of which are common in public schools and rare in private ones.

    Certain school costs like building maintenance are fixed in the short term, and thus, the savings of educating fewer students occurs in steps. This means that private school choice can temporarily decrease the funding per student in some public schools, but this is brief and slight, because only 8% of public school spending is for operations and maintenance.

    Second, school choice provides the most direct form of accountability, which is accountability to students and parents. With school choice, if parents are unhappy with any school, they have the ability to send their children to other schools. This means that every school is accountable to every parent.

    Under the current public education system, schools are accountable to government officials, not students and parents. Again, Hassan knows this, because her son has severe disabilities, and Hassan used her influence as a lawyer to get her son’s public elementary school to “accommodate his needs.”

    Unlike Hassan, people without a law degree, extra time on their hands, or ample financial resources are at the mercy of politicians and government employees. Short of legal action or changing an election outcome, most children and parents are stuck with their public schools, regardless of whether they are effective or safe. That is precisely the situation that DeVos would like to fix through school choice, but Hassan talks as if DeVos were trying to do the opposite…


    1. I let this go through. I get this crap (not yours) all the time. But I don’t usually repost the bullshit. They have their own outlets. They don’t need mine.

      1. I didn’t know that this type of stuff existed. I was shocked to read it. Thanks for letting it go through. I’m sure there are others like me who are unaware of this garbage. It is a bad learning experience to know that articles are written that are completely untrue. Who goes to such lengths?

  2. I’m sure IL legislators are envious that KY can possibly pull off a defined contribution pension for new hirees. How unfortunate that the KY state constitution doesn’t have the same pension protections as IL. Just wondering, do KY administrators have their own pension fund or are they part of the the teachers’ pension fund? Thanks for printing the stuff on school choice. Have never received anything like this. It’s never a bad idea to hear what your oponents have to say. Makes the job of defending my position easier.

    1. Victor,
      Not that envious. That is exactly what Illinois did when they created a Tier III this session. They created a defined contribution that new hires and Tier II teachers could move into; a step in the door. And while I appreciate that you may not have read these arguments from our opponents, I receive them daily and I am not willing to hand over my blog to them. The internet is full of this stuff. An easy Google search away.

      1. Fred: Points well taken. Tier III completely slipped my mind. I knew about tiers 1 & II. As for the Google search, I’ve got better things to do… Always look forward to your blogs.

  3. Insofar as carolmalaysia’s comments, all one has to do is read today’s Chicago (probably soon-to-be-Sinclair) Trib.; our fiend (nope, not a typo), Kristin McQueary (or she-who-agreed-w/Arne that Katrina was the best thing to ever happen to New Orleans) who writes that “using words like ‘voucher'” (which she admonishes J.B. Pritzker for using in reference to “tax scholarships,”) is akin to–yes, once again–hurting “poor kids.”
    I’m pretty sure that people like McQueary (& she’s on the Trib. Editorial Board; imagine what she’ll be writing for Sinclair!) are the reason that my older neighbors–long-time Trib. subscribers–switched to the Sun-Times.

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