After an educator has been employed at least seven (7) consecutive years and/or at the end of each additional seven (7) or more consecutive year periods, they are eligible for a sabbatical leave for professional improvement subject to the following conditions:
I. The Board may grant sabbatical leave up to four (4) educators for a period not to exceed two(2) semesters at any time.
2. The educator must hold a Permanent, Professional, Provisional, Continuing or Life certificate.
3. Of the sabbaticals approved, any or all may be one-semester sabbaticals. An educator on sabbatical may be based in a district building or program to enhance professional growth and training. The type of growth and training may include the following: curriculum development, training for use of new technology, developing computer skills, learning new teaching strategies, etc.
4. The educator obligates him/herself to return for one (1) year; otherwise the grant becomes a loan to be repaid within one (1) year with no interest for the first six (6) months. After six (6) months any unpaid balance shall be assessed at an interest factor of six percent (6%) per annum.
5. During the sabbatical leave, the educator shall have a contract and shall be considered in the employment of the Board.
6. The educator shall be paid a minimum of one-half (1/2) his/her full annual salary (or more, dependent upon the nature of the leave) and full fringe benefits, provided the educator does not utilize approved sabbatical leave for gainful employment elsewhere. Educational grants and fellowships shall not be considered as gainful employment.
7. An educator on sabbatical leave shall be allowed credit towards retirement for time spent on such leave in accordance with the rules and regulations established by the Michigan School Employees Retirement Board. The Board shall reimburse the educator the dollars equal to the current retirement contribution for the earliest qualifying salary to allow the educator to purchase a full year’s credit for retirement. It is the educator’s obligation to complete the purchase within two (2) years of the completion of the sabbatical leave. Failure to do so within this time limit negates any responsibility for reimbursement on the part of the Board.
8. An educator, upon return from a sabbatical leave shall be restored to their teaching position or, if it does not exist, to a position of like nature. Credit shall be given for all seniority and leave accumulated prior to paid leave and seniority shall accrue for the duration of the leave. Full credit shall be given for salary as though the educator had not been on leave.