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Taking a personal day

Teachers can celebrate a small victory in being able to take a day off from work while school is in session and not have to pay for a substitute.

Included in the state budget is money to cover "personal leave" days for teachers. In the past, teachers had to pay $50 to take a personal day. The money went to help cover the cost of the substitute.

Jennifer Lanane, president of the Wake chapter of the North Carolina Association of Educators said the money included in the budget only includes one day for personal leave instead of the two days the association and others were lobbying for. Lanane also pointed out that the money will only cover one year, so teacher associations will have to fight for additional money next year.

According to an N&O article in April 2007, the policy had been on the books since the early 1960s. In 2006, 77,252 personal leave days were taken by teachers across the state, and it cost about $6 million to pay for substitutes. Teachers contributed about $3.8 million of that cost.

Teachers complained that they were being charged the $50, but a substitute was not always used. They said in many cases, other teachers covered their classes.

Under state policy, teachers earn two days each year for personal leave, which is often used for weddings, graduations or birthdays. Teachers don't have to pay for a sub when they are sick, but they had to pay the deduction when they took a personal leave day.

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