The Morning Brew: What Kentucky teachers want; What's next for Oklahoma?
Kentucky, Oklahoma teachers walk out
Oklahoma and Kentucky are the second and third states where teachers have staged strikes and walkouts to lean on state legislatures to increase funding and fund pay raises. West Virginia kicked off the trend earlier this year when its public school teachers secured a pay raise after a strike
The situation in Kentucky is slightly different than Oklahoma. Kentucky teachers are upset over their pension plan, and attempts to limit benefits.
(CNN)More than 20 Kentucky counties had schools close Friday after the state Legislature approved changes to their pension the day before.
Educators, who are furious over the pension issue, called out of work sick or requested substitutes in protest.
The bill, which overhauls the state's pension, passed mostly on party lines and heads to Gov. Matt Bevin, who supports reforming the system. State leaders say it's critical to fix the pension crisis, which ranks as one of the worst in the US.
Kentucky teachers object to plans to limit cost of living increases to 1.5 percent per year for the state's pension plan. Other points of contention include limiting how many unused sick days teachers can put toward their retirement eligibility, and the elimination of a traditional pension plan for new hires.
So what's next in Oklahoma? From The Oklahoman's Ben Felder:
When will the walkout end?
Several schools have said they are prepared to be closed for the rest of the week and many teachers are vowing to stay on strike until the Legislature pumps more money into school funding.
"I think there's a real possibility of this being longer than a one-day shutdown," said Rick Cobb, superintendent of Mid-Del Schools.
Education advocates are expected to push for additional taxes to fund school budgets, possibly including an end to the capital gains tax deduction and approval of ball and dice gaming at casinos.
But many lawmakers signaled last week they believe they have done all they can for the year.