JCPS Is Closed Again. What Does Today’s ‘Sickout’ Mean for Kentucky Teachers?

Closed for the second time in seven days, Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) is very, very sick.

Last week, they were sick of lawmakers trying to restructure the state’s pension board. Today, they’re sick of the legislature’s proposed plan for scholarship tax credits, which would allow donors to contribute to a scholarship fund for low-income students seeking private school enrollment. 

This measure is one of the latest to enrage groups like the Kentucky Education Association and Kentucky 120 United. It’s worth noting that no public dollars would be used to assist students with tuition; all scholarship funds would come from private donors under the current proposal. However, critics from both groups are still concerned that enacting the tax credits will lower Kentucky’s revenue and weaken funding for Kentucky’s public schools.

But interestingly enough, neither the KEA nor 120 United were responsible for the sickout that closed Kentucky’s largest district Wednesday. Instead, it was a rogue group of educators from the Louisville area who called for a “wildcat” sickout, doing so without union approval. Looks like it worked.

The official Twitter page of 120 Strong also tweeted out that they had nothing to do with today’s sickout in JCPS, though they hoped to see “many red shirts in Frankfort.”

But what does this mean for teacher advocacy groups like 120 United? Is it possible that cracks are beginning to grow in their front, or are Louisville teachers just especially outraged?

Given that there’s less than a month left of #KYGA19, I’m confident we’ll find out.


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