Nearly 30 percent of public school teachers are ‘chronically’ skipping classes, study says

By Rob Shimshock

Almost 30 percent of public school teachers are “chronically” skipping classes, according to a new study.

Over 28 percent of public school educators miss 11 or more school days each year, discovered a report from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, an education policy nonprofit think tank.

The study, released Wednesday, found that public school teachers are three times more likely than their charter school counterparts to take more than 10 days a year off school for personal or health-related reasons.

The Thomas B. Fordham Institute also revealed the average teacher takes eight days off per year. This figure is over twice as large as the three-and-a-half days missed by the average employee across industries nationwide.

Teachers employed by unionized charter schools were two times as likely as their peers to miss more than 10 days of school a year, the report revealed.

“When in doubt, the simplest explanation is usually the correct one,” David Griffith, the author of the study, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “And the simplest explanation for the teacher chronic absenteeism gap between charter and traditional public schools is that the latter are usually subject to collective bargaining agreements that are extremely generous when it comes to the amount of sick and personal leave that teachers are guaranteed.”

Griffith referenced Hawaiian teachers, who receive 18 paid sick leave days out of their 180-day school year. The study says that nearly four-fifths of Hawaiian teachers take advantage of at least 10 of these days.

“In general, the union response defends these sorts of provisions by arguing that teachers are more likely to get sick than workers in other industries,” Griffith said. He noted the statement likely bears some truth.

“There’s a very direct link between teacher attendance and student achievement; so if teachers are missing more than two weeks of school (which is how teacher chronic absenteeism is defined), then students are losing about two weeks of education. And that’s incredibly damaging to their long-term prospects,” Griffith said.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has advocated school choice and alternatives to public school, including charter schools and school vouchers.

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Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Public domain

4 thoughts on “Nearly 30 percent of public school teachers are ‘chronically’ skipping classes, study says

  1. Tax payers WAKE UP! 75% of the taxes YOU pay to your town in education goes to the TEACHERS!! NOT the students. They pump out inferior kids because YOU don’t demand better educated kids. THEY keep all that money….and their ANNUAL raises (do you get an annual raise?) for themselves in terms of fewer work days, more vacation days, more sick days, more personal days, more pay, and less money they invest in health care. You don’t have to be too bright to be a teacher. Sorry. It’s one of the easier paths to take in life because the taxpayer has been on a guilt trip for the past 40 years, thinking that, oh, the poor teachers are under worked and under payed. HARDLY!!!!

  2. Doug, you forgot “It’s all for the children”. In the real world, here are the sick time policies:
    Construction (union or not): no work, no pay
    Manufacturing (varies by employer) none to 5 days/year, any more you get called to HR for ‘counseling’
    Restaurant/fast food: sick time? You’re kidding, right?
    Office/clerical: you may get 10 “personal” days to use every year.

    But face it, teachers, especially in the elementary grades are exposed to a lot of sick kids because the parents fall into one of the classifications above. Maybe each educator (they don’t like ‘teacher’ anymore) should be allowed an unlimited amount of that EmergNSee product (“developed by a teacher”) to increase their resistance. And cut their sick days to five.

  3. That is why they fight so hard for their “Contracts!!!”
    Devoted to the highest measure of mediocre.
    Stress related with a huge 200-day work year.
    We need more Prep” time during the school day.
    We are dedicated professionals who love teaching – sometimes.

  4. When teachers don’t show up, kids suffer because they can get several different teachers who have different styles of teaching and different levels of expertise. But then, it’s also possible that the subs are better teachers than the full-timers who are relying on unions to bail them out of bad teaching. So perhaps those teachers should take even more time off not to hurt the kids?

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