North Carolina teachers would find it tougher to take a personal day under proposed changes to state law rolled into the state House Education budget, which was released on Friday.
Under the changes, a request for personal leave could not be approved on any regular school day “unless the availability of a substitute for that teacher is confirmed that day.”
Teachers are generally granted time off if they make the request five days in advance, with or without a substitute in place.
The proposed changes come as thousands of teachers prepare to come to Raleigh on Wednesday to march for five demands, including increased public school funding and Medicaid expansion.
So far, nearly 30 school districts have closed May 1 because there aren’t enough substitutes to replace teachers who have requested the day off.
More than 750,000 students will miss school May 1 while teachers are in Raleigh protesting.
Also, school districts would not be allowed to change school calendars by closing schools, for example, unless they need to do so to “address a severe weather condition, energy shortage, utility failure, public health crisis, school safety crisis, emergency related to a school building or school transportation, or act of God.”
Republican state lawmakers and Superintendent Mark Johnson have been critical of the N.C. Association of Educators for choosing a school day for its protest march.
Johnson asked teachers to choose a day when students are not in school.
He contends students have already missed too many days of school due to Hurricane Florence and other weather-related events.