School boards would be given flexibility to adjust the school day
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 28, 2014) — School districts would have more flexibility in dealing with snow days and other events that require changes to the school calendar under legislation approved Wednesday by the House Education Committee.
House Bill 383, sponsored by Rep. Addia Wuchner, R-Florence, would maintain the same requirement for 1,062 instructional hours annually that schools have now. The minimum number of student instructional days would go from 175 to 170 annually, but school boards that have to amend school calendars would be given the flexibility to adjust school days by 30 minutes or more if needed to ensure that they are meeting state requirements on student instruction.
“It does not diminish or take away the 1,062 instructional hours that we require…but allows (districts) flexibility in planning their school calendar,” Wuchner said.
The minimum school term of 185 days — including student attendance days, teacher professional days, and school holidays — would not change if HB 383 becomes law.
Wuchner and others testifying on the bill said the legislation would help schools that have lost student attendance days this winter because of bad weather.
HB 383 would also prohibit a district from scheduling a student attendance day on election days.
The bill would also clarify that the commissioner of education can waive up to 10 days from a school calendar when bad weather or other emergencies cause a district to create an approved alternate instructional plan “so that no education is lost during that process,” Wuchner said.
The bill now goes to the full House for further action. It would take effect immediately if it passes both the House and Senate and becomes law.