June 13 will be the last day of classes in the Racine Unified School District. But, the RUSD Board of Education learned Monday that the extra day carries a price tag of up to $478,000.
The extra day, which is being tacked on to the end of the school year, is necessary to meet state attendance requirements. The day is necessary because nearly 400 teachers, or 25 percent of the district’s teaching staff called in sick on Feb. 17, forcing classes to be canceled. The incident occurred during heated protests at the State Capitol against Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to eliminate most collective bargaining rights from many public sector employees.
Superintendent Dr. Jim Shaw said that because all remaining employees stayed at work, and were paid for that day, there would be additional compensation for the new last day of school.
Responding to Board Member Kim Plache’s question about sick leave, Employee Relations Manager Keri Hanstedt said that there were employees that had legitimate excused absences that day. But Hanstedt added there was “a population that may not have excuses and may not have been ill. We’re currently investigating . . .and may take action.”
The School Board also learned that the unexpected expense must come out of this year’s budget.
The one-day extension was approved on a 7-0 vote.