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San Francisco teacher with cancer had to pay for substitutes during treatment

Glen Park Elementary School in San Francisco, where a teacher struggles with cancer while paying for her own remuneration (NBC Bay Area) For decades, seriously ill teachers in California have been quietly forced to pay compensation for their replacement teacher while taking extended leave. But this week, furious about the law so high that the state legislature could have passed it yesterday. Like many horrible stories, this came to a GoFundMe page. Parents in the San Francisco Unified School District launched a fundraiser for a second-class teacher on April 25 after discovering she was not only fighting breast cancer but also had to pay for her own replacement. The San Francisco Chronicle was the first to report on Tuesday about the teacher's predicament and fundraiser, shocking the local community and leading to nationwide review of the law. "Parents were upset and unbelievable – as this could not be," Amanda Fried, parent of a kindergartner and third degree, told the chronicle. "There must be a mistake." But Eric Heins, president of the California Teachers Association, told the Washington Post that this has been the norm for sick teachers for years – symptomatic of a major problem in California and beyond under-funded education systems that stop burdening individual teachers even in their most critical behovstid. He pointed out the recent walks in Colorado and Oklahoma where teachers protested for low wages combined with high health care costs. What happened to this teacher in San Francisco, says Heins, is just one example of…


Glen Park Elementary School in San Francisco, where a teacher struggles with cancer while paying for her own remuneration (NBC Bay Area)

For decades, seriously ill teachers in California have been quietly forced to pay compensation for their replacement teacher while taking extended leave. But this week, furious about the law so high that the state legislature could have passed it yesterday.

Like many horrible stories, this came to a GoFundMe page.

Parents in the San Francisco Unified School District launched a fundraiser for a second-class teacher on April 25 after discovering she was not only fighting breast cancer but also had to pay for her own replacement. The San Francisco Chronicle was the first to report on Tuesday about the teacher’s predicament and fundraiser, shocking the local community and leading to nationwide review of the law.

“Parents were upset and unbelievable – as this could not be,” Amanda Fried, parent of a kindergartner and third degree, told the chronicle. “There must be a mistake.”

But Eric Heins, president of the California Teachers Association, told the Washington Post that this has been the norm for sick teachers for years – symptomatic of a major problem in California and beyond under-funded education systems that stop burdening individual teachers even in their most critical behovstid. He pointed out the recent walks in Colorado and Oklahoma where teachers protested for low wages combined with high health care costs.

What happened to this teacher in San Francisco, says Heins, is just one example of the pressure on so many teachers.

“What it really is, is a reflection of how financially stuck the system has been so long,” said Heins. “It is scandalous to think of someone suffering from a catastrophic disease, that they actually have to deal with such types of problems while facing extra financial pressure.”

Parents, teachers, and others in San Francisco raised more than $ 13,700 to help cover the teacher’s medical bills and pay for their deputy teacher. (Posten does not mention the teacher with cancer because she has requested anonymity for privacy.)

San Francisco Unified School District spokesmen did not immediately respond to the request for comment on how much of the teacher’s salary is deducted daily. But according to the collective agreement between the district and the union, the daily cost of a substitute teacher is between $ 174 and $ 240.

“She has cared for our children and now it is time for us to take care of her” the fundraiser’s organizers wrote on the GoFundMe page .

Heins said the law requires school districts to pay salaries from teachers’ salaries while they are in paid sick leave passed in the 1970s. California teachers do not pay into the state’s disability program and therefore cannot benefit from it, he said. However, the rules for prolonged sick leave vary per school district.

In San Francisco, teachers are given 10 sick days per year according to the collective agreement. When they have exhausted their sick days, including days accumulated from previous years, they are given up to 100 days of extended sick leave. The teachers’ salaries are deducted to finance the part’s paycheck during this time. When the 100 days have passed, teachers will go without paying, unless they are members of the disastrous sick leave bank, where teachers donate sick days to others who need them.

The same type of sick leave has been used in good condition by other states. In Alabama, for example, teachers last month learned to donate their sick days to a high school teacher after a remark from his wife. Their child daughter fought against cancer, and teacher David Green had gone out of sick days and could no longer be with her in the hospital.

“It is one of the things you suffer from, but there is a lot of compassion among our colleagues,” says Heins. “That’s why we make the catastrophic sickness absence bank. We try to take care of ourselves. “

In California, the law stipulated that sick teachers would pay for their subdivisions evenly to some lawmakers.

State Secretary Connie Leyva, a Democrat and President of the California Senate Education Committee, told the NBC Bay Area that she and other legislators now

“I just learned from this question and it seems outrageous”, she told the news station. “Candidate, I think times have changed, and now it’s our job to change over time. “

The GoFundMe organizers described the teacher as a” true professional “whose involvement and love for their students cannot be underestimated.” Just a few days after the surgery, she said she wrote 22 personal notes to all students in her class to thank them for their support, “tell them she lacked them comfortably and encourages them to continue working hard.” [19659020] “Our school is pulling together to help her and make her feel like she’s not alone, ”says Narciso Flores-Diaz, a parent, to the NBC Bay Area.

Fundraiser organizers sent a message from the teacher that dozens of donations poured in and thanked the families. Fundraiser has since stopped accepting donations after exceeding its $ 10,000 target.

“My family and I are really grateful for this gift,” said the second-class teacher. “My heart is lifted and it gives me so much strength that I know so many people care about me and my family”.

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