Dear Dawg: We are trying to encourage our teachers to be present as much as possible. We know that they get five days of personal leave, and we don’t punish them for taking those days. But we do make note of it in the Appraisal. We have an indicator in Domain IV on “Attendance.” You get marked as “Distinguished” if you have zero absences. If you have two absences, you get marked down to “Accomplished.” If you have five, you are merely “Proficient.” Is there any problem with this? SHOWING UP IS HALF THE BATTLE.
DEAR SHOWING UP: Yes, there is a problem. You say that you are not punishing the teacher, but the Commissioner thinks that you are. This is what Point Isabel ISD was doing and the Commissioner flat out said it was illegal. Key Quote from the decision:
Most importantly for this case, a district cannot adopt a policy that makes it difficult to take leave. Since appraisals have a significant impact on teachers, marking a teacher’s appraisal down for taking leave that a teacher is statutorily allowed to take is found to make taking leave more difficult. For this reason, it cannot be done.
The case is Houston v. Point Isabel ISD, Docket No. 014-R10-01-2016, decided by Commissioner Morath on August 25, 2016.
DAWG BONE: YOU CAN REWARD TEACHERS FOR NOT TAKING LEAVE, BUT YOU CANNOT PUNISH THEM FOR TAKING IT.
File this one under: LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT