Teacher Must Pay Substitute
Via e-mail, I got this bizarre story from the Detroit Free Press: Michigan teacher must cover cost of substitute while on military duty
A Michigan school district told a teacher activated for military duty that he must cover the cost of a substitute during part of his absence and give the district some of his military pay.
Barry Bernhardt, a middle school science teacher and a National Guard reservist for at least a decade, started serving two weeks of active duty in Italy on Monday, the day of the school board meeting.
During the 10 days Bernhardt will be gone from the classroom, he will use two personal days and two compensation days during his time off.
For the remaining six days, Bernhardt must pay the district $74 per day for the substitute teacher filling in for him and turn over the $78 in salary that he will receive each day from the National Guard, The Grand Rapids Press reported.
Since this is a blatant violation of federal law, Bernhardt is almost certainly in a union, and schools hire subs routinely, I’m rather dubious of the story. It wouldn’t surprise me if the school didn’t pay him while he was away but the penalties are clearly illegal. And substitutes tend to make paltry wages compared to regular teachers, so the idea Bernhardt would have to pay would be strange even if he weren’t called to active duty.