State law encourages employers to offer leave for parents to participate in school activities or requires employer leave for public sector employees only.
Arkansas Code 21-4-216. Leave for participation in children's educational activities -- Definitions
(a) As used in this section:
(1) (A) "Child" means a person enrolled in an educational program for prekindergarten through grade twelve (preK-12) who is of the following relation to a state employee:
- (i) Natural child;
- (ii) Adopted child;
- (iii) Stepchild;
- (iv) Foster child;
- (v) Grandchild;
- (vi) Ward of the state employee by virtue of the state employee's having been appointed the person's legal guardian or custodian; or
- (vii) Any other legal capacity in which the employee is acting as a parent for the child.
(B) "Child" includes a person who meets the criteria of subdivision (a)(1)(A) of this section but is over eighteen (18) years of age and:
- (i) Has a developmental disability as defined in § 20-48-101; or
- (ii) Is declared legally incompetent;
(A) "Educational activity" means any school-sponsored activity.
(B) "Educational activity" includes without limitation:
- (i) Attending a parent-teacher conference;
- (ii) Participating in school-sponsored tutoring of the child;
- (iii) Participating in a volunteer program sponsored by the school in which the child is enrolled;
- (iv) Attending a field trip with the child;
- (v) Attending a school-sponsored program or ceremony in which the child is participating;
- (vi) Attending a graduation or homecoming ceremony in which the child is participating;
- (vii) Attending an awards or scholarship presentation in which the child is participating;
- (viii) Attending a parents' or grandparents' breakfast in which the child is participating;
- (ix) Attending a classroom party in which the child is participating;
- (x) Attending a school committee meeting of the school in which the child is enrolled;
- (xi) Attending an academic competition in which the child is participating;
- (xii) Attending an athletic, music, or theater program in which the child is enrolled; and
- (xiii) Engaging in any of the activities listed in subdivisions (a)(2)(B)(i)-(xii) of this section that are connected with a prekindergarten program;
(3) "Prekindergarten" means an educational and child development program that is designed to prepare children who are at least three (3) years of age for an academic kindergarten program;
(4) "State agency" means an agency, a bureau, a board, or a commission of any branch of state government and all state-supported institutions of higher education; and
(5) "State employee" means a full-time employee of the State of Arkansas or any branch, department, board, bureau, commission, or state-supported institution of higher education.
- (1) All state employees shall be entitled to eight (8) hours of leave during any one (1) calendar year for the purpose of engaging in and traveling to or from the educational activities of a child.
- (2) Leave under subdivision (b)(1) of this section:
- (A) That is unused may not be carried over to the next calendar year; and
- (B) Is not compensable to the state employee at the time of retirement.