School districts get subpoenas related to teacher absences

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – Kentucky’s largest school district has received a subpoena from Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration seeking the names of teachers who might have used sick days to rally at the state Capitol.

The sickouts forced some districts to shut down a few days while Kentucky’s legislature was in session this year, drawing Bevin’s criticism. Teachers’ concerns included a tax-credit bill for families sending children to private schools. The bill died.

The Kentucky Labor Cabinet sent the subpoena Wednesday to Jefferson County Public Schools in Louisville. A school district spokesman confirmed its receipt.

Officials in two other Kentucky districts – Oldham and Bullitt counties – said school officials also received subpoenas involving teacher absences.

Labor Cabinet spokeswoman Haley Bradburn says the matter’s been referred to the Office of Inspector General, adding the cabinet doesn’t comment on OIG inquiries.

The Kentucky Democratic Party has released a statement on the subpoenas for teacher sickouts. Here is that full statement:

“Gov. Matt Bevin has steeped to a new low in directing the Labor Cabinet to intimidate and silence teachers exercising their First Amendment rights this legislative session. First, he tried to bar them from entering the Capitol; when that proved unsuccessful, he shifted to using state government resources to bully them.

These subpoenas are just the latest step in Matt Bevin’s war on teachers and public education — a war that won’t end until Bevin is booted out of the governor’s office.”

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