It’s good to read, this morning, that Warwick’s public school teachers didn’t contribute to the recent wave of thuggishness in Rhode Island by having an organized sick-out over the disinclination of the school department to keep giving them more and more money to teach fewer and fewer students. But then Paul Edward Parker’s article reports:
Eighty-three teachers have called in sick, according to Catherine Bonang, secretary to Superintendent Philip Thornton.
On an average day, the number of teacher absences runs in the 60s, Bonang said. The school system has about 840 teachers.
What? On a typical school day, one in thirteen teachers is absent? That’s between 7.1 and 8.3%! According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average absenteeism in America is 2.9%. (It’s 2.7% in the private sector and 3.5% among government employees, which is a 30% difference.)
Granted, the BLS data excludes vacations, personal days, and a few other reasons people miss work, while the Warwick secretary may or may not be including such absences in her rough number. On the other hand, we also have to consider that there are only around 180 school days in the year to begin with.
Whatever the case, should it sit well with the taxpayers and parents of Warwick that their public school teachers are so often not in the classroom?