Author Topic: Teacher Non-Paid Leave of Absence for Travel - any advice?  (Read 1926 times)

Yearofsue

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Teacher Non-Paid Leave of Absence for Travel - any advice?
« on: February 07, 2017, 06:49:53 PM »
Hello all, seeking advice.

Current situation: Husband and wife (40,39) have each worked 15 years in their respective careers.  Wife was laid off with a 6 month severance pay-out in April 2016 and has not been employed since then. Husband is a teacher who is experiencing burn out and needs a break!  Not quite at our FIRE number but close enough that we feel justified taking a break and/or changing careers if necessary.  Am thinking about seeking non-paid LOA for travel. 

Questions: Has anyone else requested this? 
                Was your request approved or denied?   
                Any recommendations to getting such a request approved?

Thanks all! 
 
Here is the contract language:
Section 2 - Non-Paid Leaves of Absence (a) All leaves described under this section shall be without pay during the term of leave and shall be approved by the Board of Education. The regular pay received by the employee on leave and all benefits from employment shall be discontinued. The terms semester/trimester shall be applied according to a unit memberís current calendar assignment.
(f) A leave for travel and study may be approved by the Board of Education upon request by the employee. The request for such leave should be accompanied by a planned itinerary and an outline of subjects to be studied during the period of leave. Such leaves may be approved for no less than the duration of one (1) school semester/trimester or one (1) academic year.

MayDay

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Re: Teacher Non-Paid Leave of Absence for Travel - any advice?
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2017, 04:25:09 AM »
In my district they'd only approve that if your travel related to your curriculum pretty directly.

They recently denied someone who invented a connection between what she taught and the city her husband got a 1 year assignment in.

Our district has tons of teaching applicants, and saves money if a veteran teacher quits and they hire a new grad, so they aren't killing themselves to retain teachers.

westtoeast

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Re: Teacher Non-Paid Leave of Absence for Travel - any advice?
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2017, 04:45:18 AM »
I think it is different everywhere, but in my district you can apply for a leave of absence for "career exploration." So I know folks who have used it to go to graduate school (not in teaching) or to work at a non-profit for a bit. It is not uncommon to take advantage of this. Perhaps you could take some courses abroad while traveling, or teach English abroad in short term placements? Maybe you propose to do a world tour of schools and bring back what you learn about their setup and teaching strategies?

It is hard to tell from your contract language if the study/travel needs to be curriculum related though.

AZDude

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Re: Teacher Non-Paid Leave of Absence for Travel - any advice?
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2017, 08:51:01 AM »
You cannot just wait the 3 months until the contract ends and then just not re-sign? Quitting in the middle of the year is really frowned upon by school districts because it completely disrupts the kid's education. Depending on the conditions in the school/district, it might be next to impossible to find a replacement teacher(or it could be really easy).


MayDay

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Re: Teacher Non-Paid Leave of Absence for Travel - any advice?
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2017, 08:59:18 AM »
You cannot just wait the 3 months until the contract ends and then just not re-sign? Quitting in the middle of the year is really frowned upon by school districts because it completely disrupts the kid's education. Depending on the conditions in the school/district, it might be next to impossible to find a replacement teacher(or it could be really easy).

I think the OP means to ask for the whole next school year off. He probably has to request now so they can hire a long term sub for the 2017-2018 school year.

AZDude

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Re: Teacher Non-Paid Leave of Absence for Travel - any advice?
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2017, 12:08:46 PM »
If that is the case then I'm not sure what the issue is. Just don't sign your contract. You are not obligated to work beyond the contractual end date. Unless he wants a guaranteed job to be waiting, but that is very unlikely. Teacher' s sign year to year contracts, and a contract is never guaranteed beyond the end of the school year.

So I guess I don't really know what the OP wants... They would not hire a long term sub, they would just hire a new teacher for the year. Unless he already signed the contract for next year and is now regretting it. In that case, pay the fee and move on.

bmiles62

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Re: Teacher Non-Paid Leave of Absence for Travel - any advice?
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2017, 12:51:23 PM »
I work for a High School and if you have tenure you do not have to sign a contract year to year. I think the OP does want a job waiting on them when they get back. I have looked into this in my own state and and would love to be able to take a year off and then come back. At least here if you were approved for the leave then you would have a job when you got back. They would usually cover it with a long term sub . Being approved is another subject altogether.  I feel like in my state it would not be approved unless it had very strong ties to what you were teaching.

Pigeon

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Re: Teacher Non-Paid Leave of Absence for Travel - any advice?
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2017, 01:52:00 PM »
Yes, if OP has tenure, there is likely not an annual contract.

DH is  a teacher and people at his district have requested it.  It has only been approved once in the past 20 years, and that was for a teacher who planned to work on something the district wanted done anyway.

I think the more you make the "study" leave align to the district's priorities, the more likely it is to happen.

Yearofsue

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Re: Teacher Non-Paid Leave of Absence for Travel - any advice?
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2017, 04:59:32 PM »
Thank you all, for your responses.  We hadn't heard of anyone in our district asking for this, so appreciate the feedback.   
Yes, am looking to do this for the upcoming 2017-2018 school year.  Husband is tenured and does not sign a contract year to year.  So, the purpose of taking a leave is just knowing that he has a job within the district upon his return at the same salary/benefits.  We will have to buy our own health insurance if we take the LOA.   
We are currently living in the same city in which we grew up.  We have considered the possibility of relocating; from my perspective this will allow us time and freedom to explore this without having the permanency of selling our home and having to change jobs.  I am thinking about seeking out (maybe a young, single teacher co-worker) someone to rent our guest bedroom. We would still have access to our home but then someone would also be in the home while we are gone.  Secondly, it would help bring in funds to cover the added healthcare expense.       
I think we have a good argument about travel improving his curriculum since he is a social science/history/avid teacher.  We inquired about the process and was told to write a memo with our request to the head of HR.  So, we will get to working on that tonight! 

Yearofsue

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Re: Teacher Non-Paid Leave of Absence for Travel - any advice?
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2017, 09:45:36 PM »
UPDATE:  the LOA request was denied due to the contract allows a LOA once every seven years.  My husband took a year long assignment four years ago to the County Education Office. They are counting the 'teacher on special assignment' as an LOA. We will have to wait until 2021 to take a LOA if we stay with this district : (