I am still trying to work this one out for myself. Is it fair if the snow/flood days turn out to be furlough days in Gwinnett or anywhere else?
This issue was first raised in an e-mail to me from a Gwinnett teacher. I called and chatted with Gwinnett’s communications director Sloan Roach about this, and then Sloan followed up with an e-mail with more detail.
First, the teacher’s e-mail:
I am a teacher in the Gwinnett system, and I was wondering if there is any way you could do some research into Gwinnett’s plan for the furlough days the Governor has issued. Our principal has told us that Gwinnett is proposing a plan where the three days that we had to cancel school (2 in September and 1 in January) would be considered our furlough days. However, because the students still need to make those days up, we would have to work the make-up days. The way I see it, that would mean that we would be teaching those days for free. Would this be something that is even legal? My principal talked like the plan would need to be approved from the state, so I was hoping that you could get some more information either from someone at the ISC or at the Georgia DOE
And the county’s response from Sloan Roach:
It is not surprising that there is some speculation on this; however at the district level we are still discussing how to best implement the additional three furlough days. Nothing has been communicated to schools yet on this as we are still looking at options to minimize the impact on teaching and learning.
As for the make-up days for inclement weather– that is a totally different issue. Our district already has determined that it will make up the three days missed due to flooding and the snow day. (That calendar is posted on our web site.) First Flood Day (Sept. 21) missed– Make up on Feb. 12 (originally scheduled as a snow make up day) Second Flood Day (Sept. 22) missed– Make up on March 15 (originally scheduled as a snow make up day) First snow day missed (Jan. 8)– Make up on Feb. 15 (This was originally scheduled as a student/teacher holiday. In October, it was changed to a potential snow make-up day. With the day missed on Jan. 8, students and teachers will now be at school on this day.)
We do have two snow make-up days remaining in the GCPS calendar. In Gwinnett, teachers’ pay is not docked for the days we missed due to inclement weather as we know we will make those days up within their 190-day contract.
To the teacher’s question about state consent: This is from DOE’s Matt Cardoza: “No, we do not have to approve furlough days. The only thing they would have to bring to us would be a waiver of the 180 days or instruction or its equivalent. Outside of that they are free to use the furlough days as they choose.”