Time off for parents to attend school conferences aim of Liias bill

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Legislation to make sure parents can get time off for teacher conferences received a hearing this week. Rep. Marko Liias, D-Edmonds, introduced the measure so parents wanting to be involved in their child’s education can also be sure they’ll have a job.

“On the issue of parent involvement, the data is absolutely clear,” Liias said, “increased parent involvement directly translates into student achievement.”

Under the legislation, House Bill 1146, a parent would be entitled to four hours off from work every 12 months. A similar bill was introduced last session and passed the House. Liias is optimistic that the Legislature will approve it so that parents will be guaranteed leave for the next school year.

“Many of the jobs that folks have today, especially during the recession, don’t necessarily provide the benefits parents need to make a parent-teacher conference,” Liias said. “As we consider more budget cuts to education, the least we can do is ensure an active parent has the opportunity to be involved and support their child’s education.”

Nine states have already adopted this policy, with some providing more hours of leave to attend education appointments.

The state’s Parent Teacher Association and teachers also spoke in favor of passing the bill.

The next step for leave bill is to be approved by its committee, Labor and Workforce, before the cutoff day of February 23.

Follow 21st District Rep. Marko Liias on Facebook for an inside look at what he is up to in Olympia.

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