State lawmakers advised to address absent teachers

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia's largest public school system is suggesting changes to the way teachers receive sick days. Kanawha County schools Superintendent Ron Duerring told the Senate Education Committee on Tuesday to consider requiring teachers to earn sick days each month worked. State law now provides 15 sick, personal and family leave days up-front to teachers employed 200 days a year.
Carol Hamric oversees human resources for Kanawha County. Hamric said up-front days encourage absenteeism.
Hamric sees the same 200 to 300 names year after year as she tracks absenteeism among the county's 2,000 teachers. Duerring also suggested allowing counseling for chronic absenteeism. Both he and Hamric stressed that the county has plenty of dedicated teachers. The committee sought the information after learning Kanawha County spends $4.6 million annually on substitute teachers.
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