For almost a decade companies such as Polaroid and 3M and more recently Google have been offering the paid 15-20%, where employees get paid to explore their own interests. A paid sabbatical for everyone is an opportunity to inject into higher education, in its broadest sense as education beyond high school, with that same sense of a freedom to learn, to play and to explore new things at a time when lifelong learning is becoming mandatory. Life happens, and everyone, not just elites, should be given the opportunity to learn again without having to worry about how they are going to pay their daily bills.
Everyone will have the right to a sabbatical every 7 years beginning at the age of 18. A 6 month grace period will be offered. If the sabbatical is not started within that grace period, the sabbatical goes into a bank. Banked sabbaticals will be randomly assigned to petitioners to the extent it is fiscally sustainable (ie. for every four unclaimed sabbaticals, one is given to a petitioner). A person can petition for a hardship sabbatical, if it has been at least three years since the last paid sabbatical. Hardship sabbaticals will be for those that have experienced recent job losses and/or were deemed to have attended failing public schools ie. “dropout factories”.
The sabbaticals will be paid for with an income tax similar to that used in California and New Jersey in the United States for their paid family leave programs. In-kind donations of seats in classrooms will be donated by learning institutions (private and public universities, community colleges, bootcamps).
Participants are eligible to take up to a full load of courses for 1 year through the consortium of learning institutions as able.
Participants will be eligible to intern at a participating organization, and will be recognized as students for all intents and purposes as required by internship guidelines.
During the sabbatical, as reasonable, participants will be asked to check in for data purposes (ie. tracking skills gained, mental and physical health, etc.) on a monthly basis.