A recent study shows a sharp rise in reports of teachers calling in sick days compared to just a few years ago. Instructors in the country’s largest school districts missed an average of 11 days, according to a report on teacher attendance from the National Council on Teacher Quality. They looked at attendance for more than 234,000 teachers in 40 districts during the 2012-13 year and found that 16% of all teachers were classified as chronically absent because they missed 18 days or more. However, Gayle Fallon with the Houston Federation of Teachers says there is another side to the story that often goes unreported:

“What we always look at, if you have a large number of teachers missing a lot of days and there hasn’t been an epidemic of something at the school, you might want to look at who the boss is...”

It’s a tricky situation with respect to money on the line. Here in Houston, incentives have been tried in the past, unfortunately with sometimes disastrous results.

"When Billy Reagan had his Second Mile Plan in Houston, it pretty much guaranteed high attendance. The only problem we had was they were crawling in to work if necessary.”

When that didn’t work, the problems only worsened. Unfortunately, the main difference is with a job on the line, a pink slip sometimes is the end result and not detention hall, like students would face.

But Mrs. Fallon offers some positivity in that the longer tenured instructors are the least likely to call in, due to their dedication and commitment to the job.