State Rep. Phil Potvin introduced legislation to give school districts additional flexibility in fulfilling the required amount of hours for the school year due to many districts having utilized more snow days than built-in to their schedule due to the heavy snowfall and cold temperatures this winter.
House Bill 5285 keeps the required number of yearly hours for school districts, but removes the total days requirement. Similar legislation was enacted last year, and this bill adds the requirement of a minimum of 30 minutes be added to any day if lengthened.
“Students in our state deserve to receive the required amount of education as set out in state law, but this winter has put many school districts in a difficult place, with some facing the possibility of going to school late into June,” said Potvin, R-Cadillac. “This legislation is designed to eliminate some of the problems while ensuring the students are getting all of their education. Our goal is to give schools the flexibility and freedom to do what works best in their local community.”
Schools will still need to provide the required amount of instruction hours to students, but this legislation gives districts more flexibility to provide those hours in a way that works best for them locally to finish this school year without extending into summer.
“We still have the winter weather of February and March ahead of us, and will likely see additional storms and school cancellations. Having the bill enacted this spring will give schools more time to find solutions that work best for them,” Potvin said. “We are working to find the best approach to this situation for schools, teachers and students. There isn’t a perfect solution to this situation, but extending the length of days can prevent school going to the end of June.”
HB 5285 will be referred to the House Education Committee for consideration.
Rep. Potvin talks about his new legislation that gives Michigan school systems flexibility in making up snow days by keeping the required number of yearly hours , but removing the total days requirement.