Leave available for state employees to help in schools

Young children in a classroom sit in a circle raising their hands.Gov. Roy Cooper announced an extension of the ability for state employees to use volunteer days under community service leave (CSL) to help combat staff shortages in K-12 school districts across the state due to COVID-19. Employees can use volunteer days with supervisor approval to work in North Carolina public schools as substitute teachers, bus drivers and cafeteria staff.

Three key points:

  • The availability period that would have ended Feb. 15, 2022, has been extended through April 15, 2022.
  • Previously, employees could use their annual allotment of 24 hours of community service leave with supervisor approval to work in North Carolina schools as substitute teachers, bus drivers, cafeteria staff and other needed roles. The governor has added an additional 24 hours of CSL leave for this program in addition to the standard annual 24 hours of CSL provided.
  • The extension also continues the exception to allow state employees to keep any compensation provided by the school district for these purposes through April 15 even while they are using paid CSL leave.

Accordingly, the Office of State Human Resources extended the following exceptions from the Community Service Leave Policy. These exceptions are being issued under the authority of the Director of State Human Resources to make temporary modifications to policy, so it appears that the actions apply to both the agencies and the university.

  1. State employees are eligible to use community service leave for time spent training to be a substitute teacher, substitute teacher’s assistant, or other substitute staff at a school or school district.
  2. State employees are eligible to use community service leave for activity in the schools (with the exclusion of any time spent in religious activities), regardless of whether they receive pay for the activity.

These exceptions apply only to service as a substitute teacher or in another role in a school or school district, such as a substitute school bus driver or cafeteria worker, that meets the duties of staff who are temporarily not available.

Other than as described above, all provisions of the Community Service Leave Policy remain in place.

  • If a state employee is serving under this exception at a private school, the employee will not be eligible to use community service leave for any portion of the day in which the employee is participating in a religious assembly or promoting religious activities.
  • Also, as provided in the Community Service Leave Policy, “Employees must receive approval from their supervisor to use this leave. The supervisor or other agency/institution manager may require that the leave be taken at a time other than the one requested, based on the needs of the agency.”

View a list of websites that explain each school district’s substitute program.

Contact: Keyona McNeill

Feb. 11, 2022

Submit an announcement