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.

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of midnight ET: 5,044,821 — Total deaths: 162,938 — Total recoveries: 1,656,864 — Total tests: 61,792,571Map.
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  6. Schools: 97,000 children test positive for coronavirus in two weeks — Nine test positive at Georgia school where photo showing packed hallway went viral .

97,000 children test positive for coronavirus in two weeks

A boy has his temperature checked as he receives a free COVID-19 test in South Los Angeles in July. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

At least 97,000 children tested positive for COVID-19 in the final two weeks of July and there's been an estimated 338,000 cases involving kids in the U.S. since the pandemic began, a new report finds.

Why it matters: The findings in the report by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association comes as schools and day cares look to reopen in the U.S., with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announcing Friday that school districts in the state can reopen in the fall amid lower coronavirus transmission rates.

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Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrested under national security law

Media tycoon Jimmy Lai at the Next Digital offices in Hong Kong in June. Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images

Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Jimmy Lai has been arrested for "collusion with foreign powers," said Mark Simon, an executive at the tycoon's media firm Next Digital Monday morning local time.

Why it matters: He was arrested under the new national security law that gives Beijing more powers over the former British colony. Lai is the most prominent person arrested under the law, which prompted the U.S. to sanction Chinese officials, including Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, over Beijing's efforts to strip the territory of its autonomy.