Teachers playing hooky appear to be a more widespread problem than students doing so ever were. “With the scandal over the School District of Philadelphia’s (SDP) backlog of payouts to retirees for unused sick days and the recent increase to the vendor contract for substitute teacher services, there has been a lot of discussion in Philadelphia about the high cost of teacher absences,” Excellent Schools PA claims. “Data released by the SDP shows that it is plagued by high teacher absenteeism rates (200 percent above the national average), despite a generous incentive program that compensates employees for unused personal and sick days.”
“Every day, more than 500 teachers are marked absent from school,” Stephen DeMaura writes in The Philadelphia Citizen. “The cost is staggering: Over the course of a year, the District spends more than $59.8 million on teachers who are not working.” DeMaura is the executive director of Excellent Schools PA.
“When a teacher fails to report for work, the District is forced to hire a substitute to cover the class,” he notes. “At one of its last meetings, the School Reform Commission in February approved a contract for substitute teacher services valued at $54.3 million.”