Schools across the state of Kentucky closed Monday to allow thousands of teachers to participate in the rally at the state capital to protest a pension reform bill.
While several schools are already out for spring break, Kentucky Education Association president Stephanie Winkler also encouraged other superintendents across the state to cancel as well. According to The Hill, schools in Floyd and Pike County closed specifically for the rally.
The rally is in response to a GOP bill recently passed by state lawmakers that restructured the pension benefits that will be given to future teachers. The protests began last Friday when eight Kentucky school districts closed, while hundreds more teachers did not show up to work in response to the passing of the bill.
One of the many problems Kentucky's teachers have with passing of the bill is the way lawmakers went about the process. Instead of proposing the changes in a clearly stated manner, the changes made were hidden within the copy of a bill primarily about sewage.
First-year teacher Diane Young told CNN, "It's just an outright assault on public education. Communities, states need public education. And instead of finding logical sources for funding, they just want to cut and take away. And it's awful, because our kids deserve better. Our state deserves better."
Similar protests are also taking place in Oklahoma on Monday in teachers' efforts to increase school funding within the state. Both are inspired by a recently successful strike in West Virginia that ultimately resulted in a pay raise for educators.
Stay tuned as more updates regarding the statewide protests become available.