GOP Representatives Present Bipartisan Bill 241 To Ease Teacher Leave Penalty

House Republican Communications News:

SANTA FE — Thursday afternoon, Reps. Jason Harper (R-Sandoval) and Dennis Roch (R-Quay) presented House Bill 241 to the House Labor and Economic Development Committee. The bipartisan bill is cosponsored by Reps. Stephanie Garcia Richard (D-Los Alamos) and Christine Trujillo (D-Bernalillo) as well as Sen. Craig Brandt (R-Sandoval).

Their bill, also called the “Teachers Are Human, Too” bill, would allow teachers to use up to ten days of sick leave without it negatively affecting their annual performance evaluations. It would also give local school districts the option to preclude teacher attendance from being considered as part of a teacher’s evaluation.

“Allowing teachers to use the sick days guaranteed to them by contract is right and fair,” Harper said. “We should not be punishing good teachers by forcing them to make a choice between using a sick day and risking a knock on their evaluation or coming to work while ill. Teachers have enough concerns; this dilemma should not be one of them.”

“There are dedicated teachers who now feel they have to come to work sick because of the potential impact it may have on their evaluations,” Roch said. “Correcting this situation is important for morale. It’s also a matter of public health. We want healthy teachers in our classrooms.”

The committee unanimously supported House Bill 241. It will be heard by the House Education Committee next.

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