Reward proposed for teachers who use less paid leave

Friday, November 2, 2012

By Clint Confehr

Senior Staff Writer

Several Marshall County school board members have endorsed an idea raised this week to pay teachers a reward for not needing substitute teachers.

When teachers need a substitute, the county system pays two people for the work, said school board member Donnie Moses, chairman of the board's budget committee.

Speaking in broad terms Tuesday, Moses recalled numbers indicating that approximately one out of four teachers have not missed a day of work. A system of rewards might pay for itself. The goal is to give teachers an incentive to refrain from using paid leave.

A rough draft of the proposal was presented to the budget committee on Monday by Jackie Abernathy, schools director. Moses didn't quote dollar amounts, or many details of something that remains a proposal.

System leaders don't want teachers working when they're contagious, but if they can "tough it out," there should be a reward for that, as well as scheduling medical and other appointments when school is not in session, Moses explained in a telephone interview.

Also Monday, the budget committee conducted a quarterly review of spending and revenue, the chairman said. There are no surprises in spending and while property tax payments are just starting, Christmas sales tax revenue is always greater during the holidays.

Meanwhile, school board member Harvey Jones, chairman of the board's transportation committee, anticipates buying two new school buses. That, and the proposed sale of buses that can no longer be used, will be presented to the board on Nov. 13, Jones said.

Much of the transportation committee meeting on Monday was devoted to a review of the system's transportation services by transportation director Tres Beasley, Jones said. Beasley's discussion was to benefit new members of the board.