Businesses, Ed Groups Divided Over Bill To Let Parents Take Time Off For School Related Activities

by Categorized: Connecticut Date:

A children\’s committee bill to promote parent engagement in a child\’s education has drawn support from education advocates and criticism from the business community. H.B. 6501 would allow employees who have custody of a student in grades K-12 up to 20 hours of parental leave each year to attend \’school related activities,\’ like parent-teacher conferences, back to school night, or school board meetings.

Studies have shown positive association between level of parent involvement and students\’ achievement, also finding that students whose parents are engaged are more likely to have better social skills and reach higher levels of education.

\”Early childhood education programs…have demonstrated significant short and long-term benefits for children all have intensive family involvement components,\” said Marne Usher, Connecticut Parent Teacher Student Association Vice President of Government Relations in testimony to the state legislature\’s children\’s committee earlier this month. Usher also said that \”schools would have to spend $1,000 more per pupil to reap the same gains in student achievement that an involved parent brings.\”

Wendy Lecker, of Parents Across America-CT also submitted testimony on the bill, arguing that \”Many parents and guardians can simply not get the time off from work to fully engage in their children’s education.\”

But Eric Gjede, assistant counsel at the Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA), argued that while parental engagement is important, this measure is not the best way to accomplish that. He said the bill \”disregards the staffing needs of employers and conflicts with their policies for requesting and approving time off that were implemented to provide fairness amongst all employees.\”

\”Employers in this state value their employees, and have increasingly provided flexibility in their leave policies to accommodate their needs,\” Gjede said in testimony. \”However, imposing another mandate on Connecticut businesses does not help rehabilitate Connecticut’s reputation for being unfriendly to business.\”
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2 thoughts on “Businesses, Ed Groups Divided Over Bill To Let Parents Take Time Off For School Related Activities

  1. Richard

    This problem goes back to last year when they mandated 3 sick days instead of 3 personal flex days. Now we are stuck with another decade where every interest group comes forward looking to expand their days off for specific reasons and this of course will require tracking at work to ensure they complied with each and every new time off regulation and the fulfillment requests to avoid lawsuits.

    It’s the way government works. There’s the simple way, through personal days, or selling yourself like stupid whores to every special interest group who walks in the door. Once they started with sick days they won’t be able to stop themselves.

    Bring back the old Left. The 3 floating Holiday Democrats. Not the new Left Democrats. The ones who want to classify each and every Holiday and require some proof of compliance and allegiance behind each request for time off for each Holiday and Yes! Can we means test these requests with triplicate forms!

    Tell them to take a hike. All of them. Nearest pier. Thank you.

  2. Teacher

    Absolutely parents should be allowed legally-protected rights to time off without any recourse to attend to school-related meetings. I saw parents who lost their jobs at casinos because they responded to the “urgent” calls of Administrators. The threat of being fired for accruing “points” for a no show or leaving for a critical meeting should be stopped by all employers when parents are trying to be responsible! If we want to prevent student violence, increase attendance, and promote good citizenship through academic success, we as a society must show respect for parents as well.

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