Bill could give parents paid time off for children's school activities

A California lawmaker has proposed legislation that he says would give parents the ability to leave work to attend school events involving their children, all while still getting paid.

Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) introduced the bill last week.  It woule require employers to provide three workdays of paid time-off for school-related activities every year.

He says that studies show that children with involved parents perform better in school and face fewer disciplinary incidents.

“Being involved in your child’s education shouldn’t be limited by your family’s income, and it shouldn’t come down to a choice between meeting with a teacher or volunteering in the classroom, versus paying the bills,” said Gatto.  "You shouldn’t have to be a cast member of the ‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ to be involved in your child’s education.”

Assembly Bill 2405 would update California’s “Family-School and Partnership Act”.  The Act, passed in 1995, allows parents, grandparents, and guardians to take up to 40 hours of unpaid, job-protected time-off for school activities and school-related emergencies per calendar year.  The bill would require that 24 of those 40 hours be paid time-off.

“We must stop passively bemoaning the state of our schools, and do something to engage families in the educational process and the school community," Gatto says.  "AB 2405 will allow parents to play an active role in their children’s success, without worrying about putting food on the table.”

Companies with fewer than 25 employees would be exempt under the bill.

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