What’s a valid reason for N.C. teachers to take personal days? New law doesn’t explain. | News | #teacher | #children | #kids

RALEIGH — North Carolina public school teachers are trying to find out how they can take personal days without having money taken from their pay to hire a substitute.

The new state budget ends the practice in which $50 was automatically deducted from a teacher’s paycheck when a sub was hired to cover their classes on a personal leave day.

But questions exist about how the new practice, which involves giving a reason for taking a personal day, will be carried out in the state’s 2,600 public schools.

Failure to give a reason — or even potentially a reason not being considered valid — could result in teachers having more than $100 taken out of their pay.

“The General Assembly is saying, ‘Oh we’re taking away the fee. All you have to do is tell us why you need to take the day off,’” said Kristin Beller, president of the Wake County chapter of the N.C. Association of Educators. “What’s problematic for teachers is it’s a personal day.

“The point of a personal day is not saying why you need it. You just take it because you need to take it.”

Charging teachers for personal days

North Carolina was one of the few states that required teachers to help pay for the cost of hiring substitutes. This resulted in some teachers using sick days, even when they weren’t ill, to avoid being charged for taking off on a school day, according to Rep. Jeffrey Elmore, a Wilkes County Republican and public school teacher.

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