Do East Penn Teachers prefer to take off than be in the classroom? You Decide.

This article is an update to a previous article  and another we wrote on this exact topic. At that time we only had 4 months of data to go on given to us by the East Penn School District (EPSD) Superintendent Schilder.

He wanted to use this data to back up his claim that there were not enough substitute teachers available. We think it shows how liberal the EPSD union teachers contract is at allowing full time teaching staff to get out of teaching.

In the previous article we took the Superintendents four month data and found that. in our opinion, there is no problem with the number of substitutes available. Rather, it shows how many teachers skipped school that caused the problem.

The new full years data shows it got even worse.

The previous article shows on average 50 teachers every day of their contracted 192 day school year are absent. That is 9% of the total teaching staff out every day. However, that’s not when the sub shortage hits; when 70 teachers or more are out in one day the sub shortage does kick in; when full time teaching staff absenteeism reaches 13%!

Now we start with the new update data

We did a Right to Know (RTK) request and their two responses, (1), (2) for all EPSD employee data as it relates to absences for the 2017/17 school year and the data just recently came in.

It is not good news for EPSD

The new data actually shows full time teacher absenteeism increased from 50 teachers out a day to 52 teachers out on average per day. EPSD original data showed that, on average, every one of the 540 teachers is absent 17 days per their union contracted 192 day teaching year. The full year data now shows an increase to 18 days off/yr/teacher.

In their union contract teachers also get 20 holidays/yr, two snow days. Also 45 min/day contracted time off to do whatever the teacher wants ie; prep work, correct tests and class papers or drink coffee with all the other teachers in their teacher lounge. this 45 min/day adds up to another 20+ days/yr..

Add these union contracted reasons a teacher can stay out of the classroom and you come up with the average number of days a teacher is in their classroom teaching students is only 132 days out of their 192 day/school year,68% of their time the other 32% EPSD might need to hire substitutes.

Substitutes alone makes up around $1-2 million to the EPSD ~$150 Million dollar yearly budget.

Administration worries?

With all the student tests like; PSA, PSAT, Keystone, GED, Advanced Placement, etc.. and the Administrations always worried about getting enough day/yr to prepare for all these tests one would think the Administrations would take an interest in how much time away from their classrooms our teachers take.

Instead Admin worries about finding substitutes to fill in for all the teacher absences                        the EPSD teacher union contract allows.