Director, Commonwealth Policy Center

Jefferson County Public School system shut down six times in recent weeks due to teacher "sickouts" so they could protest in Frankfort. Now Kentucky's Commissioner of Education Wayne Lewis is asking the state's largest school district to produce sick-leave records. Lewis wrote an opinion piece and said that students couldn't afford to miss time in the classroom especially in light of underperforming achievement data. Lewis requested sick-leave records from nine other districts that shut down due to teacher protests. Most were upset with any possible changes to the state pension system. But the interesting thing was that during the times of protest, no education-related legislation had the possibility of becoming law. Of course, teachers have a right to let their voices be heard but as Commissioner Lewis said, they don't have the right to short-change a child's education.