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Wisconsin bill suggests paid leave for school activities

Author John Thompson
Submitted 28-02-2009

An increasing body of research is drawing strong links between parental involvement at school and children’s success.

Now, two Wisconsin lawmakers are aiming to make it easier for mothers and fathers to exercise their parenting skills.

Representative Spencer Black and Senator Tim Carpenter introduced a bill that would allow parents to substitute up to 16 hours of vacation or sick leave in order to attend school functions.

It does not require employers to grant additional time off, but is instead aimed at giving moms and dads – particularly those in low-wage jobs – more flexibility over their timetable. It may also potentially benefit dads who are single parenting and are short on time.

"Sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day to be as involved as parents would like in school conferences or other classroom activities," said Senator Tim Carpenter, according to WKOW-TV.

"This legislation will help more families cope with the conflicts between a busy work schedule and being involved at school."

Under the bill, parents would be required to give advance notice to their bosses and make an attempt to work around the company’s operations.