Teachers in many districts in Kentucky closed down public schools in response to the Republican attack on their pensions. 

Schools in eight Kentucky school districts were closed Friday as teachers across the state protested Republican changes to their pension system, CBS News reports.

In Lexington and Louisville — the state’s two largest school districts — hundreds of teachers took sick days or refused to show up for work after state lawmakers passed a bill changing the structure of pension benefits for future teachers.

The strike may be hard for reformers and the libertarians in the GOP to understand: the teachers in Kentucky are not striking for themselves but for their profession.

This wildcat strike follows weeks of protest by teachers to the Legislature and the Governor.

CNN says that the legislature pulled a bait-and-switch, dropping the original bill against which teachers were protesting and putting the changes into a bill about sewage services. Was that a direct insult to teachers?

The action in Kentucky follows the wildcat strike in West Virginia and precedes the likely walkout in Oklahoma, scheduled for Monday April 2. Teachers in Oklahoma demand higher pay (pay in Oklahoma is at or near the worst in the nation despite a booming energy industry in the state that gets huge tax breaks).

These strikes and walkouts are happening in states where unions are not strong. In fact, Kentucky,  West Virginia, and Oklahoma are “right to work” states.

Note to reformers: If the Janus decision goes against the unions, you will still have to contend with the power of organized teachers. No matter what law is passed, teachers who are underpaid and disrespected have the power to walk out. There are not enough TFA scabs in the nation to replace them all.

No teachers, no schools.