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Teachers striking in Chicago. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Teachers across 26 counties in Kentucky called out sick today forcing jurisdictions to close schools after lawmakers passed a pension bill that prevents state employees from adding accumulated unused sick days to their retirement plans as well as reducing the return on investment on hybrid savings accounts with the state.

Why it matters: The sickout in Kentucky continues a nationwide trend of teachers stepping out of the classroom to fight for improved benefits and salary in their states.

What they're saying: Teachers say the bill came as a surprise to them with very little time to review the bill. Jeni Bolander, a teacher and a member of the Kentucky 120 United group, said that teachers could easily accept the pension plan. However, she said, the plan is harmful to prospective teachers and won't help attract educators to the state.

We're not willing to sacrifice people going into the profession.
— Jeni Bolander

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear said he'd be filing suit to stop the bill from becoming law. Beshear said there was no public comment and no fiscal analysis.

The other side

Governor Matt Bevin supported the bill, but he has yet to sign it.

Why you'll hear about this again: Schools around Kentucky closed on Friday with teachers calling out sick and it's unclear when they'll return to the classroom. Most schools in the state go on spring break after Easter.

Go deeper

Updated 59 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day.
  2. Politics: Top HHS spokesperson pitched coronavirus ad campaign as "helping the president" — Space Force's No. 2 general tests positive for coronavirus.
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases.
  4. Sports: MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.
  5. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.

The norms around science and politics are cracking

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Crafting successful public health measures depends on the ability of top scientists to gather data and report their findings unrestricted to policymakers.

State of play: But concern has spiked among health experts and physicians over what they see as an assault on key science protections, particularly during a raging pandemic. And a move last week by President Trump, via an executive order, is triggering even more worries.

Ina Fried, author of Login
2 hours ago - Technology

Apple sets September quarter sales record despite later iPhone launch

Apple CEO Tim Cook, speaking at the Apple 12 launch event in October. Photo: Apple

Apple on Thursday reported quarterly sales and earnings that narrowly exceeded analysts estimates as the iPhone maker continued to see strong demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

What they's saying: The company said response to new products, including the iPhone 12 has been "tremendously positive" but did not give a specific forecast for the current quarter.