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Study Finds that 1 in 6 Teachers are Out of the Office 18 Days a - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Study Finds that 1 in 6 Teachers are Out of the Office 18 Days a Year

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How many days did you call in sick last year? A new study from the National Council on Teacher Quality found that one in six teachers was chronically absent last school year. Meaning that they missed class more than 18 days in 20-13. That's not including those teachers on maternity or paternity leave either. So today Valley News team's Eric Crest found out how the Moorhead Public School system stacks up to the national average.

Moorhead teachers are so close to summer break. They worked about 190 days this year and on average took just over a day off every month.

"Teachers get sick, their children get sick, they need to be able to take care of themselves. Also realize they're dealing with a population that has running noses and you'll notice things go through a classroom so our teachers do have illnesses," explains Lynn Kovash the Moorhead Public Schools Superintendent.

A new study finds that substitutes cost tax payers across the U-S over 420 million dollars in 2012-2013, and that was just in just the 40 school districts that were surveyed. While Moorhead wasn't one of them their superintendent knows that it's best to have a teacher rather than a sub in the classroom.

"Some substitutes, like our retired teachers, come in and they've been teachers. They know the curriculum and they're able to continue. But if you have someone just out of college or not experienced you do lose some teaching experience," says Kovash who tells Valley News Live they are struggling to find sub's in her school district.

Now according to that National Council on Teachers Quality survey, the average teacher on a national scale will miss class about 11 times a year. Here in Moorhead they're not that far off. According to their most recent data from 2010 the average teacher called in a sub about 14 times a year.

"We're pretty much in the national average," says Kovash.

While 14 days off may seem high, consider that the leave of absence in Moorhead isn't just sick days.

"If they're having a child or that type of thing," is one of the other experiences that will keep a teacher from work.

But it also includes personal and emergency leaves which are included in that number of 14 days off in Moorhead. One more number for you though, according to that survey about 94 percent of the time it's not a sub holding down the classrooms, but teachers who want nothing more than to wrap up this school year with their kids in the next few days.

In Fargo the average teacher called in sick about five times last year, not including personal, emergency, or maternity leaves. Meanwhile in Moorhead we crunched the numbers, and found out that strictly sick-related leaves was slightly higher at seven days a year.
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