Paid Personal Leave Increases for CPS Teachers

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COLUMBIA- The Columbia Public School District will change its number of paid personal leave days for teachers next year. Previously, a teacher had nine sick days per school year they could use. They also had three personal days they could use each school year. Two of them were paid, but teachers actually had $70 deducted from their paycheck for the third personal day they took. One teacher knows she'll already have to use three personal days next school year.

"Having that third personal day that they have on the table would benefit me personally," Rock Bridge Elementary School teacher Kelly Coble said.

If a teacher decides to take a third personal day next school year, they won't have $70 deducted out of their paycheck. However, they will lose one of their sick days if they use it. Some teachers said the third paid personal leave day benefits them because they don't use all of their sick days in a school year.

Some teachers in the district don't like the idea because they're worried they don't have enough sick days built up.

"Your kids get sick, so you have to stay home," teacher Laura Burghardt. "So what happens if you use your sick day that's for a personal day and then you run out of your sick days...then what?"

CPS will only have the third personal leave day for one year. The district says that only about 11 percent of teachers use the third day of personal leave because they lose money out of their paychecks.