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Snow day bill waiting on Governor

McCreary County students may be able to start their summer vacation a little sooner than expected thanks to legislation passed by the Kentucky House of Representatives and Senate last week which would allow school districts to get waivers for up to 10 days missed due to the weather.

Senate Bill 119 suspends the requirement for school districts to complete 1,062 instructional hours, if those districts are unable to make up the time by June 5. The bill does not allow districts to hold Saturday classes, or holding classes for more than seven hours in a day.

With more than two dozen districts across the state missing more than 20 days and some more than 30 the bill comes as welcome relief, but districts still have to make an effort to make up for missed time.

The bill is awaiting a signature by Governor Steve Beshear to enact into law.

The McCreary County School District has missed 22 days as of this week, and without the waiver, or pending action from the McCreary County School Board, the school year was expected to extend until June 16.

The Board is expected to meet next week to decide on how best to make up for some of the missed days.

Several options are before the Board, including extending the day by 30 minutes, and taking some or all of planned spring break days.

Mitzi Stephens, McCreary County Board of Education Director of Pupil Personnel, stated she has spoken to the Kentucky Department of Education for clarification on the legislation, and has been informed that the exact working of the bill is still undecided, but local school districts will still have to take measures on their own to make up missed days before a waiver can be considered.

Stephens added if the Board opts to use spring break days as make-up days, the district could conceivably fulfill their hourly instructional requirements by June 5.

An additional bill in legislation now would allow for school districts to hold classes on election day, if no school serves as a polling place. Currently Both Pine Knot Primary and McCreary County Middle School serve as polling locations.

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