In Kentucky, the virus is covering for teacher salary and pension cuts.


On the one hand, teachers are being praised for taking on the extra job of rethinking their instruction and gearing it to the current conditions which demands that students be kept home.

Social media is filled with comments by suddenly home-schooling parents who humorously but with a serious subtext of appreciation for what teachers do every day under normal conditions.

But while corporate bailouts are being proposed, many public employees are anxiously looking to see what happens to their wages and pensions as the U.S. and state economies tank.

Kentucky may be the canary in the coal mine for other states dealing with reduced revenue and existing pension liabilities.

Like Illinois.

Kentucky was one of the right-to-work states where two years ago we saw massive wildcat strikes of teachers, demanding salary increases and pension payments.

Last November, Kentucky tossed out its Republican governor.

But with Covid19 ensuring no massive protests, a new budget would have teachers lose the guaranteed $2,000 pay raises Govenror Beshear promised them, and $1.13 billion in funding for their pension system.

“KY teachers & school personnel are working day & night to teach kids … yet you’re trying to do this when they can’t get into the Capital?! We’re watching,” teacher advocacy group 120 Strong tweeted.

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