Leave for Participation in Child’s School Activities

State law A.C.A. 21-4-216 provides eight (8) hours of annual leave for state employees to participate in children’s activities (Act 1028 of 2007).


Q.        I’ve heard that this year I’ll be allowed to go to my child’s school events during work time without having to take vacation leave to cover the work time I miss.  Is that true?

A.        Yes, A.C.A. 21-4-216 says that you may be off during work times to participate in your “child’s” school activities.


Q.        Can I take off to help with my niece’s school play?

A.        No, unless you are her legal guardian.  In the law “Child” is defined as a person enrolled in pre-kindergarten through grade 12 (preK-12) who is of the following relation to a state employee: a natural child, adopted child, stepchild, foster child, or grandchild. This includes a ward of the state employee by virtue of the state employee having been appointed to the person’s legal guardian or custodian, or any other legal capacity in which the employee is acting as a parent for the child.


Q.        How much time am I allowed to take for this purpose?

A.        You can take eight (8) hours per calendar year. 


Q.        So I can use this leave to attend an educational event for my grandson?

A.        Yes.


Q.        What types of educational activities can I use this leave for?

A.        “Educational activity” means any school-sponsored activity. This includes, but is not limited to a parent teacher conference, participation in school-sponsored tutoring, participation in a school-sponsored volunteer program, a class field trip, a classroom program, a school committee meeting, an academic competition, and assisting with athletic, music, or theatre programs.


Q.        If I am a part-time employee, do I get this benefit?

A.        No, you must be a full-time employee of the State of Arkansas or any State-supported institution of higher education to receive this benefit.


Q.        If I don’t use my leave for this purpose this year, can it be carried over to next year?

A.        No. This specific leave that is unused may NOT be carried over to the next calendar year.


Q.        When is this policy effective?

A.        This policy was effective July 1, 2007.