Snow Day Bill Advances

Districts could forgive missed days if bill is approved

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By Monique Williams

Columbia, S.C. (WOLO) -- Summer vacation for public school students in the state could be impacted, depending on how districts decide whether to make up missed school days. It's a lesson even state lawmakers are learning how to deal with.

Days of snow, ice, freezing rain, power outages and the like impacted days in the classroom. In fact, the back-to-back winter storms that battered the Palmetto State caught the eye of the general assembly.
According to senate education committee chairman republican senator, John Courson, the so-called snow day bill, would allow school boards to forgive up to five days of classes canceled during double winter storms.

By law, districts are supposed to build three make-up days into the mandated 180-day school calendar to use if needed. The proposed bill, Courson claims, would waive state law requiring schools to make up missed days due to extreme weather.

"We're not mandating districts do anything our hope is they make up full three days and not take any snow days but we do need to give them the option," said Courson.

However, democratic state representative Leon Howard, says state government has no place in the local classroom at all.

"I think we're playing big brother," said Howard. "The school board is elected officials just like we are and they should make their own decision about how they run their districts."

If the bill is approved, it could make it here to the governor's office for signing as early as next week.

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