A California Teacher Diagnosed With Cancer Has Been Forced to Pay for a Substitute. Should the Law Be Changed?
A cancer-stricken teacher in San Francisco who is being forced to pay the cost of her substitute has ignited a debate about the fairness of a 43-year-old California law.
Since 1976, school districts have been able to deduct wages from teachers who miss work to pay the cost of substitute teachers. School districts and teachers unions have set up donation banks that allow their colleagues to donate unused sick days. But, in this case, the teacher would have to use up her extended sick leave with partial pay first.
Students and parents were outraged when they learned of the educator’s plight and it wasn’t long before legislators took notice.
“It really does seem like we need to do something to rectify this problem,” said State Sen. Connie Leyva.
Out of respect for her privacy, the teacher has not been publicly identified. She teaches second grade at Glen Park Elementary and has been described by parents and colleagues as a beloved and dedicated employee.