But when it comes to sick time for teachers who work around lots of kids known for having lots of germs, Forbes has cautioned districts to tread lightly and not make big changes if it’s not necessary to balance the budget.
The school districts of Hamilton and Elmbrook in Waukesha County both have modified their sick-time policies. Hamilton educators used to have about 20 sick days per year, and the new policy cuts that approximately in half, said Denise Dorn Lindberg, spokeswoman for the district.
Hamilton’s teaching staff members used to be able to accrue a maximum of 75 sick days over the course of their career; the new maximum is 30 days – time that can be used to cover extended recovery from illness or injury. But while the bank of days went down, it’s also been restructured to act more like a portable benefit, Lindberg said. For example, any unused leave acquired beyond 30 days can be converted to $125 per day and deposited in a teacher’s retirement account.