Senate approves snow day expansion plan for 2018-2019 school year

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Kevin Daley on Thursday again voted in favor of legislation that would give flexibility to schools who missed more than the nine allotted snow days during this winter’s harsh weather.

“Schools were burdened with extreme weather and faced some difficult safety decisions during this school year,” said Daley, R-Lum. “I am happy we were able to revisit this and get it approved with immediate effect allowing it to benefit schools this year.”

The State School Aid Act requires each district to provide at least 180 days and 1,098 hours of pupil instruction. The first six days or the equivalent number of hours that students are not in the classroom due to snow days or other weather or natural emergencies are waived and included as hours of instruction. Schools are also currently allowed to request credit for up to three more snow days with state superintendent approval.

House Bill 4206 would amend the act to allow schools, for 2018-2019 only, to request that the Department of Education approve up to four more days when school was not in session if those days occurred during a governor-declared state of emergency. However, without immediate effect, the legislation wouldn’t have taken effect until well after the end of this school year. The dates covered in the governor’s state of emergency are January 29 through February 1, 2019.

“This is a one-time effort to provide some relief to districts across the state,” Daley said. “I know some districts that have had upward of 20 snow days and under this plan, they will have the option to have 13 of those days forgiven. I’m glad we were able to get this through and give our schools a hand in their time of need.”

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