(a) As used in this section:
(1) "Classified employee" means a person employed by a public school in this state who is not a licensed employee;
(2) "Emergency situations" shall have the same meaning as it is defined in § 21-4-212;
(3) "Fiscal year" shall be the fiscal year now established for the United States Government; and
(4) "Licensed employee" means a teacher or administrator employed by a public school in this state who is required to be licensed by the State Board of Education as a condition of the teacher's or administrator's employment.
(b) (1) A licensed employee or a classified employee who is employed by a public school in this state is entitled to a leave of absence for fifteen (15) days plus necessary travel time in any fiscal year for the purpose of participating in:
(A) Military training programs or other official duties made available by the armed forces of this state or any other state, including without limitation the National Guard or a reserve component of the armed forces; or
(B) The civil defense and public health training programs made available by the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.
(2) To the extent that this leave is not used in a fiscal year, it will accumulate for use in the succeeding fiscal year until it totals fifteen (15) days at the beginning of a fiscal year.
(1) When a licensed employee or a classified employee is granted a leave of absence under this section, he or she shall be entitled to his or her regular salary during the time he or she is away from his or her duties during such leave of absence.
(2) The leave of absence shall be in addition to the regular vacation time allowed the employee.
(1) A licensed employee or a classified employee who is called to duty in an emergency situation by the Governor or by the President shall be granted leave with pay not to exceed thirty (30) working days, after which leave without pay will be granted.
(2) This leave shall be granted in addition to all other leave to which the licensed employee or classified employee is entitled.
(1) During a leave of absence, a licensed employee or a classified employee is entitled to preserve all seniority rights, efficiency or performance ratings, promotional status, retirement privileges, life and disability insurance benefits, and any other rights, privileges, and benefits to which he or she has become entitled.
(2) The period of military service shall, for purposes of computations to determine whether the licensed employee or the classified employee is entitled to retirement under the laws of the State of Arkansas, be deemed continuous service, and the licensed employee or the classified employee shall not be required to make contributions to any retirement fund.
(3) The school district shall continue to contribute its portion of any life and disability insurance premiums during the leave of absence on behalf of the licensed employee or the classified employee, if requested, so that continuous coverage may be maintained.
(f) When a licensed employee or a classified employee is granted military leave for a period of fifteen (15) days per calendar year or fiscal year under this section, the military leave will accumulate for use in succeeding calendar years or fiscal years until it totals fifteen (15) days at the beginning of the calendar year or fiscal year, for a maximum number of military leave days available in any one (1) calendar year or fiscal year to be thirty (30) days.
Acts 1989, No. 724, § 1; 1991, No. 673, § 1; 1991, No. 956, § 1; 2009, No. 944, § 1; 2011, No. 989, § 34; 2011, No. 1164, § 1; 2013, No. 1073, § 21.