(WGHP) — North Carolina teachers had to pay $50 to help foot the bill of hiring their own substitute teacher when taking a personal day.
“Teachers were taking sick days to do personal type items, to attend the funeral or sign paperwork. Really that’s not the purpose of a sick day,” NC House Rep. Jeffrey Elmore said.
That’s why Elmore proposed new legislation, saying teachers who give reasons for a personal day should not be charged for hiring a sub.
The failure to give a “valid” reason could result in teachers being charged the full amount of hiring a replacement, which would double the $50 payroll deduction,
“How it was worded is the policy was enacted once the budget was signed into law and applied this school year,” Elmore said.
The new policy in the more than 600-page outline of the state’s budget went into effect in November.
The budget does not define what reasons are valid. Local schools and districts are trying to figure out how to implement the change.
“It’s having to give a reason, and is there going to be an administrator where my reason wouldn’t be good enough for them,” said Val Young, who leads the Forsyth County Association of Educators.
“Now you’re talking about me paying the entire amount of a sub, and that’s like 100 or more,” she said.
We checked around the area, and the cost of a substitute teacher in Guilford County can average between $115-$140.
An average of $85 at Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools and about $85 in Davidson County.
Teachers earn two personal days a year. The potential $200 annual loss does not drive many teachers to debt, but the principle behind the deductions gnaws at some teachers in the Triad like Wendy Peoples.
“I feel like a personal day is a personal day. No one should know why. Giving an excuse is like checking on you,” she said.
If a teacher does not give a valid reason or one at all and no sub was hired for the day, they will be refunded the amount.