Kentucky Senate OKs snow day relief, House vote expected Friday - News, Weather & Sports

Kentucky Senate OKs snow day relief, House vote expected Friday

FRANKFORT, KY (WAVE) - Kentucky's General Assembly is closer than ever to providing school districts with relief for snow makeup days, although it's likely too late for some districts.

The hardest-hit districts could end their school years on June 6 by applying to Kentucky's education commissioner for a waiver.

"The commissioner will work with them to see what they've done to reach the 1,062 (required instructional hours)," said Sen. Mike Wilson, R-Bowling Green. "If they've maximized their efforts, then he will waive the additional hours."

The Senate approved the bill on a 36-1 vote late Thursday. The House will vote Friday afternoon to send the legislation to Gov. Steve Beshear, said Rep. Rocky Adkins, the Democratic floor leader.

The agreement appeared unlikely on Monday, when Wilson declared negotiations dead. House negotiators wanted automatic waivers, while senators requested more power for Education Commissioner Terry Holliday to deny waiver requests.

But school administrators complained, and lawmakers realized their differences weren't as great as they had thought, Wilson said.

Jefferson County Public Schools' last day is June 12, a date the school board agreed to Monday. Board members have the authority to change that, but there are no plans to do so, said Mandy Simpson, a district spokeswoman.

School district administrators in Hardin and Oldham counties already made June 6 their final day of school, so the legislative agreement likely wouldn't help those districts.

Bullitt County Public Schools administrators decided Thursday to use the legislation -- if it becomes law -- to extend their school day by 14 minutes to finish on June 6.

The bill would not require that districts finish by June 6, Wilson said. Administrators can change their school calendars to meet the hourly requirements, as long as they don't have instructional days longer than seven hours or hold classes on Saturdays.

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