Should snow days be replaced in minutes or days?

LANSING, Mich. (WZZM) - The State Board of Education announced Wednesday that schools that need to make up snow days this spring will need to do so with full days, not adding hours or minutes to existing days.

The board unanimously adopted the statement that when a district exceeds the six days allowable by state law, they are encouraged to replace the lost time with full days of instruction.

Current state law requires school districts to offer at least 1,098 hours of instruction in the 2013-14 school year. The districts must also provide a minimum of 170 days or the number of days offered in 2009-10, whichever is greater. Many districts provide 180 days of instruction; some districts provide more, according to the board.

State law also recognizes that circumstances outside of the control of a school district, such as severe weather, illness outbreaks, or interruptions in utilities, may cause schools to be closed unexpectedly. The law provides for up to six such days to be counted toward those 1,098 hours without loss of state aid. Any days beyond the six allowed must be replaced for the district to receive its full amount of state aid.

The board's action is in reaction to a bill in the legislature that was introduced to allow districts to add minutes to each day to help districts make their minimums. The board says a better solution is to make them up with full days of instruction.


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