Kentucky Teachers Strike Fund

$25,000 goal

Campaign created 10 months ago
No Longer Accepting Donations
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Created April 4, 2018
Support Kentucky Teachers!

Every day, our teachers work to secure the future of our children and of our commonwealth. However, Governor Matt Bevin and Kentucky Republicans are selling out the future of our teachers. On Thursday, March 29, they forced a bill (details at the bottom of the page) through the House and Senate that will slash teachers’ benefits and threaten their ability to retire.

On March 30, teachers across Kentucky called in sick in protest of the bill, causing districts to cancel school. More districts cancelled school on Monday, April 2, and thousands of teachers and their supporters gathered in Frankfort to make their voices heard.

We don’t know what the next steps will be. One thing we know is teachers can’t win if they are deprived of their most powerful weapon, the strike. But strikes require commitment and support. If teachers are going to have this option at their disposal, they’ll need all of our help.

To ensure teachers have the resources they need to wage a successful work-stoppage if and when they decide to, we have created the Kentucky Teachers Strike Fund. This fund will help cover the costs of travel, water, meals and supplies for the picket line, lunches for school children, rain gear, and other needs.

Show your solidarity with Kentucky teachers by making a donation to the Kentucky Teachers Strike Fund today. Any amount you can contribute will help.

Guidelines of the Fund

1. Every cent we raise will go to support teachers as well as certified and classified school district employees from counties/districts where all schools have been closed due to work stoppage. We will not keep any overhead. 

2. Funds will be collected and distributed through Louisville DSA, with the process open to accountability between the leadership of Kentucky chapters of DSA.

3. Any remaining funds will be donated to a charitable organization serving children's needs, to be determined.

4. Applications will be reviewed based on the urgency of the need, how specific the request is, and how directly the request is connected to the strike. Priorities will include gas, meals for striking teachers and students out of school, water, sign making supplies. The suggested max request is $500 (other amounts will be considered).  We will update this page with a form to apply for funds soon.

5. We will verify that only certified and classified school district employees receive funds, and that need is documented.

6. Donations are not tax-deductible.

In Solidarity,

Democratic Socialists of America, Kentucky chapters:
Lexington, Louisville, Metro Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, Southern Kentucky

Provisions of the bill:


New teachers hired after January 1, 2019, will be put into a hybrid cash-balance retirement plan, where they will contribute 9.105 percent of their salary to their retirement plan, the state will contribute 6 percent of their salary and school districts will contribute 2 percent. Cash-balance plans are individual accounts that are considered less generous than traditional pensions but more reliable than 401(k)-style plans. The new cash-balance plan does not include a guaranteed 4 percent annual return for teachers, unlike the cash-balance plan offered to state and county employees who have been hired since 2014. It does guarantee that teachers won’t lose money on their investments.

Future teachers will have to work longer before becoming eligible for retirement benefits. All current teachers can still retire after 27 years of service and will receive a traditional defined-benefits pension, but future teachers will have to work until their age and years of service add up to 87 or work until they turn 65 before they are eligible to retire.

Teachers will no longer be able to accumulate new sick days to put toward their retirement after December 31. Any sick days accumulated before then can still be put toward their pension.

The bill ends the inviolable contract for new teachers hired after January 1, 2019, which means lawmakers can adjust the benefits provided by their retirement plan at any point in the future.
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Dear supporters,

Thank you for your contributions to the Kentucky Teachers Strike Fund. Your support and solidarity mean a great deal to us and to Kentucky's teachers and school employees. However, no work stoppages are planned for the remainder of this school year, and we have received no requests for reimbursement from teachers or classified staff who participated in “sick-out” events. Therefore, we have closed the campaign and will be refunding all donations. We encourage you to continue supporting Kentucky’s public school workers in other ways.

The promotion of this strike fund, and the more than $10,000 raised from donors around the world, provided inspiration to Kentucky educators we talked to during protests in Frankfort and online. As of now, Kentucky teachers face an uncertain future: pensions are no longer an inviolable contract they can rely on; the state school board has been stacked with charter school proponents; the state is currently attempting to take control of the largest school district, Jefferson County/Louisville, and put 100,000 students directly under the governor’s agenda; the legislature has redefined gangs in a way that drives the school-to-prison pipeline; and cuts to public services for poor and working-class Kentuckians make daily life more challenging for students and their families.

This fight is far from over. Kentucky’s state motto is “United We Stand, Divided We Fall.” We appreciate that you stood with Kentucky’s teachers and school staff when they needed supporters united behind them. Their struggle continues as they choose how and when to wield their power — the power that comes from unified collective action.

In unbridled solidarity,
Democratic Socialists of America Lexington, Louisville, Metro Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, and Southern Kentucky Chapters.
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$25,000 goal

Campaign created 10 months ago
No Longer Accepting Donations
 Share on Facebook
Created April 4, 2018
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