Snow day relief bill moves forward in Frankfort - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Snow day relief bill moves forward in Frankfort

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School districts would not have to make up many of the snow days they had this winter under a bill that cleared a Kentucky House committee Tuesday. School districts would not have to make up many of the snow days they had this winter under a bill that cleared a Kentucky House committee Tuesday.
Rep. John Will Stacy Rep. John Will Stacy
Rep. Mary Lou Marzian Rep. Mary Lou Marzian

FRANKFORT, KY (WAVE) - School districts would not have to make up many of the snow days they had this winter under a bill that cleared a Kentucky House committee Tuesday.

Rep. John Will Stacy, D-West Liberty, sponsored the bill that calls on the state to grant waivers for up to 10 calamity days for every district. The House Education Committee approved it, despite some concerns about students missing out on instructional time.

Stacy insisted that Kentucky's education commission have no discretion over whether to grant the days.

"These school districts are faced with a big burden of having to plan the rest of their school year," he said. "Having to send paperwork back and forth to Frankfort isn't something they're able to handle."

The provision is also in the budget bill that the House is scheduled to vote on Wednesday, but the chamber's leaders said Stacy's legislation can move more quickly through the legislature. School administrators need a quick solution because they have to plan testing dates and graduation, House Speaker Greg Stumbo said.

One lawmaker on the House panel said more people had contacted him about the snow day bill than any other issue this year.

Others said they supported the legislation because school districts in Eastern Kentucky had missed 30 or more days of school and they didn't want those students going to school in July.

Jefferson County Public Schools has missed 11 days and has scheduled its last day of school for June 12.

Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, D-Louisville, said she had concerns that students would miss out on learning because of the waivers.

"There's a balance here," she said. "We need to make sure our kids are getting educated so they can get (high-paying) jobs."

Senate President Robert Stivers said Monday that he didn't support automatically giving districts 10 free passes regardless of how many days they've missed.

Stacy said districts wouldn't have to apply for or use all 10 days.

"It's up to the districts, but this allows them more certainty in their planning," he said.

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