|Kasich to ask legislature for more school snow days|
|Monday, January 27, 2014 9:00 PM|
COLUMBUS (AP) School districts throughout the state may have a little less to worry about during this harsh winter season after an announcement by Governor John Kasich on Monday urging an increase in calamity days this year.
"School closures can, of course, be an inconvenience, but student safety always comes first," Kasich said. "Many schools have already hit the maximum number of snow days, or will soon, and if they exceed it and have to extend the school year, it can wreak havoc with schools' budgets and schedules. Giving schools a few extra snow days this year will be helpful and let everyone stay focused on the top priority when weather hits, keeping kids safe."
While Ohio law allows five calamity days before districts must start adding days to the school year, Kasich is urging the Ohio General Assembly and the Ohio Department of Education to work together on legislation to provide a one-time increase due to the unusually severe winter weather this year.
A change in legislation is not something that happens overnight, but in this case it doesn't need to, according to John Charlton, associate director for media relations for the Ohio Department of Education.
"I think the point of the announcement (Monday) is to reassure educators that the priority is the safety of the students," Charlton said. "Just because you've reached your five days, that doesn't mean you're forced to have school in dangerous weather."
Charlton said it is not yet clear how many days may be added or how make-up days will be accomplished, but he knows several different proposals will be discussed.
"At that point, it's just a matter of someone proposing them, agreeing on one and moving forward," he said.