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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Florida lawmakers propose sick leave sharing bill



Amid all the controversy over whether school employees should get large payouts of unused sick leave is lost the generosity that many teachers and other workers seek to demonstrate with their sick leave, but can't.

From time to time, we learn of teachers who want to give away their sick days to ailing colleagues who need the paid days off much more than they do. Yet state law prohibits them from transferring their leave to anyone other than a family member.

This happened in Pasco County two years ago with Bayonet Point Middle teacher Connie Duffy, and a year ago with Martin County teacher Karen Gangi.

Treasure Coast lawmaker Rep. Gayle Harrell, R-Stuart, and Senate deputy majority leader Lizbeth Benacquisto, R-Wellington, have now filed a bill that would allow friends to help their ill friends. Senate Bill 874/ House Bill 285 simply would allow districts to create policies "under which a district employee may authorize any district employee to use sick leave that has accrued to the authorizing employee."

This would differ from the sick leave banks that districts may create, but to which employees must apply and hope for approval. No one wants to have to use such a transfer, but many educators have said they'd like to have the option. Some superintendents and editorial writers already have come out in support of the measure

[Last modified: Wednesday, November 9, 2011 9:27am]


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