Covington Schools to close Monday as Ky. teachers voice pension bill disapproval

CAMPBELL COUNTY, KY (FOX19) - School systems across Kentucky called off Friday classes in the wake of the passage of a pension reform bill.

Late Thursday night, the Kentucky House and Senate passed a bill to overhaul the state's public pension system and sent the legislation to the governor's desk. Teachers have voiced their opposition to the pension reform bill.

If signed, the bill could limit the number of sick days teachers can put towards their retirement and there would be no change to the cost of living adjustment staying at 1.5 percent.

Campbell, Carroll, and Gallatin counties posted messages to social media stating that "due to low staff attendance and the lack of available substitutes" schools were closed for the day.

On Friday afternoon, Covington school officials said schools would be closed Monday because of "high teacher absenteeism" and a lack of substitute coverage.

"We are there for our kids. Just not our own pension. Some of the stuff they out through last night is going to affect our kids especially here in Covington. They are going to take away transportation and some of our family resource centers," Kentucky Education Association President Deb Winkler said.

Teachers and their supporters protested Friday morning in Dayton, Kentucky. They stood out in the rain downtown holding protest signs along with their umbrellas.

At least 24 counties closed schools Friday, most of them citing low staff attendance and a lack of substitutes.

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin tweeted his support for the bill Thursday night.

The governor maintains the bill reforms the state's pension system, which is viewed by experts among the worst in the nation.

Winkler would like Bevin to come walk in their shoes.

"I am disappointed and I am scared for the new teachers. And the fact that there are education students in the colleges right now who are changing their major," she said.

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