Is staying home from work for a year, without pay, worth it to keep you and your family safe from coronavirus?
For some Richardson Independent School District teachers, it is.
The district is allowing some to do just that and will hold their job for them until next year.
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“It’s a hard decision for them,” Richardson ISD Superintendent Jeannie Stone said. “It really wasn’t a hard decision for us because we don’t want to lose them. We want them back as soon as they can come back with us.”
Stone said during the coronavirus pandemic some of their teachers were faced with tough decisions about returning to the classroom.
“We had a number of employees who have underlying health conditions,” Stone said. “So, they were being faced with a decision, the hard decision, to have to resign or retire.”
The Richardson ISD school board approved a one-year unpaid furlough to contract teachers. It will allow them to return to a position with the district the following year.
Stone said this is the right thing to do for their staff.
“A lot of people aren’t able to do that,” Stone said. “They need to all have jobs. As it turns out it was only seven of our teachers, each one of those seven matters and we want to take care of each and every one of our employees.”
She said it also benefits the district in the long run.
“All of our teachers are wonderful, especially those who have experience,” Stone said. “We don’t want to lose that experience to another district. We don’t ever want to lose that, so we just want to meet their needs.”
Although the furlough guarantees them a job, there could be changes.
“They may not be able to come back to the exact same school and classroom that they left, but they will just be able to come back and resume as an employee of Richardson ISD and we will work to get them where they want to be,” Stone said. “It just may not be the position or school that they left.”
Stone said this works for them because they are a large district with over 2500 teachers and long-term substitutes on their roster.
*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.
**County totals below include all 32 North Texas counties, not just Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant.