Kentucky schools close for statewide teacher rally

Education

More than 60 schools across Kentucky were closed on Wednesday, as teachers traveled to the state capitol for a rally. They joined together in Frankfort to support education funding and stand up against the state’s underfunded pension system. 

“When you really see everyone rally together and stand up for what’s right, it’s amazing,” said Courtney Kingsmore, a teacher in Lawrence County. 

Cuts to education funding would impact more than just teachers. 

“At the end of the day, how we fund education directly impacts our children,” said Fairview Superintendent Phil Eason, “and sometimes our most vulnerable children.”

With teachers at the capitol, seven school districts were closed on Wednesday including Martin County, Pike County, Lawrence County, Carter County, and Floyd County. Ashland and Fairview independent school districts were also closed. 

“When you quit funding this,” said Matt Lemmings, parent of a Fairview student, “you take away a lot of programs in the school. It hurts the kids all the way around. We’ve got enough issues in our community as is, without having to take away the schools.”

Another concern with the Senate bill is possible cuts to preschool programs, which Superintendent Eason says would be detrimental. 

“That’s the last place we should make any cuts,” Eason said, “because if we can build kids rather than waiting to try and fix them, the research is overwhelming that quality preschool programs are worth the investment.”

Elliott and Greenup school districts remained open on Wednesday, but still did their part to join the cause. Both counties sent 2-3 teachers from each school to represent them in Frankfort.

Ashland schools are not planning on making up the day that they missed. Martin County will make up the time during three days of their spring break. The rest of the school districts will add on one extra day to the end of their school calendar. 

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