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School Levy--particularly the imputed 4000 sub days

When I read it several days ago,  I knew John Danahy's statement, "The district currently pays for 4000 sub days,"  was simply untrue.   I did want correct information before I went on line with my reply to Vision 2020 so I went to the District Business Manager and asked for a run down on the numbers.  I got the information I needed for a reply, but waited a day because I was really hoping the writer of the original message might add some clarity to his words, however that didn't happen.  
The district has a non-budget category for personnel absences.  This category is simply a count of every day any district employee is gone for any reason.  That projection for next year is 4200, and is the only number which even approximates John's figure of 4,000. This tends to be a stable figure--rising only when several employees are seriously ill, or when grant money such as Albertson provides funding for other projects.  
The district has 305 employees: teachers, administrators, clerks, aides, transportation workers, grounds and maintenance, cooks, etc.  Any time any one of these employees is not on the job the count goes against the 4200.  For example, a teacher may be out of class ill--that counts; the superintendent may be in Boise for a meeting--that counts; the transportation director may be meeting with county commissioners from throughout the state--that counts; a vice principal may be accompanying a sports team to a state meet--that counts.  So you get the drift.  4200 days for 305 employees averages to 13.77 days a year per employee.  For teachers, much of that time away from the job is still working with students.  For example, when I was in the high school, students and I were often in some other place taking part in debate, High School Bowl, or Future Problem Solving state and national competitions.  My time away from school counted against the figures for those years, but obviously I was still working with students, often long after the school day was done.   
Another piece of data that may help illuminate the figures is that by state law each employee has 11 days of sick leave each year.  Teachers have also negotiated 3 personal days each year.  Additionally, for many years employees contributed to a local sick leave bank which now has several thousand days available for those who are seriously ill or pregnant to take days from the bank when their accumulated sick leave has been exhausted.  Pay for substitutes would then come from the sick leave bank and the time off would count against the 4200 or whatever the number was that year.  If you go back to the original message, it is important to keep in mind that this number, or even the 4000 as stated, is not a budget item.  And it covers all employees.  To use these figures as proof for a statement to parents, "11% of the time your child spends in class is with a sub" is a exercise in data manipulation that ought to shame a former board member.   
Additionally, I have a sign that states, "Vote yes for Kids" and I refuse to let John Danahy define why I have it.  A few weeks ago I called him a bully.  After I sent the message I was reminded of the words my daddy used to tell me when he thought I was saying something rash:  "If you get down in the pen with the hogs, you're going to get dirty, too."  However, John's statement, not only to me, but to others of you who proudly support the levy and have yard signs, possibly proves my point.  John ends his message with the jibe, "Look around your neighborhood and know that behind every, 'Vote yes for kids sign' is someone who supports sub days over Junior High teams and football over class sizes."   I don't see myself in that statement and, I suspect, neither do you. 
I do, however, agree with him as he urges you to vote on April 23.   I though would urge you to vote yes. 

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