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LRSD reinstates COVID leave for teachers, passes vaccine incentive for employees

Thursday night, the LRSD Board of Directors agreed to reinstate COVID leave for teachers. The group also agreed to create an incentive to get more staff vaccinated.

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — Thursday night, the Little Rock School District Board of Directors agreed to reinstate COVID leave for teachers. The group also agreed to create a new incentive to encourage more employees to get vaccinated.

The COVID leave was reinstated after teachers got an e-mail earlier this month informing them that employees sick with the virus would no longer receive paid time off.

The leave is for employees that have tested positive, those who have symptoms and are quarantining while getting tested, or those that are caring for a family member that has the virus. 

It also includes time off that allows employees to go get the vaccine. This policy will expire in December, but the board can vote to extend it if needed.

Additionally, LRSD employees can now get paid if they get vaccinated. 

The district will provide $300 to an employee if they can show proof of vaccination. This incentive will continue until October.

There was some discussion about trying to implement a mask mandate, but the school district cannot legally do that since Arkansas legislators passed a law prohibiting it this year.

Some board members urged for another session before school starts to specifically focus on COVID issues that parents and teachers have. 

That has yet to be set up.