It happened again: Jefferson County Public Schools will be closed Wednesday for the district’s fifth sickout in less than two weeks.
Teachers in Kentucky’s largest district will likely head back to Frankfort for the second straight day, protesting bills they believe could negatively impact public education if passed.
District officials decided to close schools late Tuesday night, shortly after JCPS Superintendent Marty Pollio briefly addressed the string of closures at a school board meeting.
The teacher side of him “strongly supports” educators standing up for their profession and students, he told a packed room. The superintendent side wants kids in classrooms, he said.
“This is a difficult line to walk,” Pollio said.
Of the three main bills JCPS teachers have been following, only one is potentially up for a vote Wednesday.
A piece of legislation to change the makeup of the teachers’ pension board appears to be stuck in the House’s orders of the day. Despite a committee vote on Feb. 28, House Bill 525 has not come to a House vote.
One of the three bills teachers have been closely watching, Senate Bill 250, would give Pollio additional authority over hiring and purchasing in the district. The bill passed the House Tuesday afternoon and now heads to the governor’s desk.
Legislation to give tax breaks to private school scholarship donors, which superintendents and teachers say will pull funds away from public schools, appears dead. Still, educators are concerned similar language could find its way into a different bill. Legislative leaders and some supporters of the bill say the latter is not going to happen.
Want live updates from Frankfort? Follow education reporter Olivia Krauth on Twitter for live tweets from protests and the House chambers.