LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – Officials with Jefferson County Public Schools say they have sent a preliminary list of sickout teachers to the Kentucky Department of Education.
Education Commissioner Dr. Wayne Lewis pressed Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio to send him a list of the teachers who called out during the recent sickouts that led to schools being closed 6 days in a two-week period.
Lewis said teachers would not be punished as long as the work stoppages did not continue.
“I maintain the request for names but I will definitively state that no disciplinary action will be taken against teachers if there are no further work stoppages. The agreement between JCPS and JCTA proved to not be enough to keep schools open and Jefferson County students missed six days in two weeks. We are requesting this information so that we can have assurance that districts have policies in place to protect school days and students instructional time. In the coming days I’ll be reviewing the submissions from districts to determine if all have sound policies in place and to determine whether next steps are needed. The bottom line is kids need to be in school.”
JCPS turned those names over after asking for a five-day extension which ended Monday.
JCTA President Brent McKim released a statement about the release of teacher names from JCPS to Wayne Lewis
We are disappointed that Commissioner Lewis did not honor the school board's request that he withdraw his request for the names and we are concerned that this will have a chilling effect on teachers' first amendment rights to advocate for their students.
Our Teachers Association legal counsel tells us the Commissioner has the legal authority to demand the names, but just because he legally can do this does not mean he should.