The governor's bill moves holidays under code section 18-5-45. While it lists the phrase "seven holidays," it does not specifically state those days are paid holidays.
Some bills need clarification, Goodwin said. The governor is working with Senate Education Committee Chairman Bob Plymale, D-Wayne, to work on "direct language" to make it "crystal clear" teachers will be paid for seven holidays.
Within days of the AFT issuing its letter, the governor's office distributed a 10-page point-by-point response. One specifically mentions the paid holiday dispute.
"Senate Bill 359 does not take away any of the seven holidays currently granted to teachers," the letter states. "If a county board of education designs a calendar that does not include seven of the current holidays, teachers will still receive seven holidays within their employment term."
Both documents also address code changes proposed concerning faculty senates. The AFT alleges the bill "cuts the 10 faculty senate days currently in law down to one," referencing the start of the school year.
The governor's office says the bill "still allows for faculty senates to meet for an unlimited block of time during non-instructional days."
The portion of state law currently in effect sets aside a two-hour block for professional activities for teachers. That is stricken in the governor's bill.
The bill says faculty senates can meet for any amount of time on any non-instructional day.
Senators debated the bill for the first time Thursday in a meeting of the education committee. The committee meets again at 2 and 5 p.m. Tuesday to discuss the bill, with meetings at 2 and 5 p.m. Thursday as well.
Plymale said he would call for a vote on the measure at some point Thursday.