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Michigan Lawmakers Consider ‘Snow Day’ Legislation

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LANSING (WWJ) - School districts in Michigan might soon be able to add extra hours to the school day instead of extending the academic year because of too many “snow days.”

The state House Education Committee will consider legislation Wednesday that would give school districts that experience an excessive number of snow days additional flexibility in fulfilling the required amount of hours for the school year.

Currently, districts have to hold 170 days of classes and 1,098 hours of class time. The legislation would keep the required number of hours, but remove the days requirement, allowing districts to decide how they want to make up the time.

Republican Rep. Phil Potvin, sponsor of the bill, said snow days are a regional problem that affects northern Michigan districts more than those in southern Michigan.

“The large amount of snow this winter has put many school districts in a difficult place, with some facing the possibility of going to school well into June,” the Cadillac lawmaker said in a statement.

Under the bill, districts could make up missed days by turning a half day into a full day of school, or by making classes longer over several days.

“This bill will help eliminate some of the problems that can come from going to school into the summer, while ensuring the students are getting all of their education,” he continued.

Potvin said some schools in the Cadillac area were forced to take as many as 12 snow days because of severe weather. In contrast, most schools in metro Detroit only took two or three snow days the past winter.

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