SUWANEE, Ga. -- The family of South Gwinnett High School Algebra Teacher Mark Rinehart, and Rinehart's fellow Gwinnett County teachers, told the school board Thursday night at its meeting in Suwanee that school employees want to donate their unused PTO -- personal time off -- to Rinehart so he can get more time off with pay, and devotemore timecaringfor his wife, Hannah, who is suffering the effects of a rare, life-threatening bacterial infection.

One teacher pointed out that the idea would not cost the taxpayers any extra money since PTO is already figured into the budget for employees -- regardless of who uses the PTO.

Rinehart was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from his fellow teachers.

School board members said they will look into authorizing employees to give their unused PTO to other employees who need it to care for family members, or to recover from their owncatastrophic illness.

According to the superintendent's office, 131 employees are currently on extended leave without pay, having used all of their sick days, out of 22,000 employees in all.

Board members did not say when they would decide whether to authorize the PTO transfers for the benefit of Rinehart and the other employees.

Mark Rinehart's Blog about Hannah's recovery:

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