FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 31, 2014) — The Kentucky House gave final passage Friday to the so-called “snow days” bill that would give school districts until June 6 to make up instructional time lost because of this winter’s snow, ice, and cold.
House Bill 211 was the result of an agreement between the House and Senate. It passed the Senate by a vote of 36-1 on Thursday, and was given final passage in the House this afternoon by a vote of 97-1.
Under HB 211, school districts will have until June 6 to complete all 1,062 instructional hours required by the state per school year. Districts may choose to extend school instructional time for the remainder of the school year to make up the lost time, as long as instructional time does not exceed seven hours a day. Districts that are unable to meet all 1,062 hours before June 6 must request assistance from the Kentucky Commissioner of Education no later than May 1 for help to reach the requirement, per the bill.
If the school districts still cannot complete the 1,062 required hours by June 6 after consulting with the commissioner, HB 211 allows a waiver of any remaining instructional hours that are required.
Rep. John Will Stacy, D-West Liberty, who served on the House and Senate conference committee that reached agreement on the bill, said school districts will be required to make “a good faith effort to get in all hours.”
Some school districts in Kentucky, especially in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky, have missed more than 30 days of school this school year due to winter weather.
The districts “will work with the department to get the maximum instruction time out of the calendar this year,” Stacy said.
The snow days provisions were attached to HB 211, which was filed and sponsored by House Majority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins, D-Sandy Hook as a reorganization bill. The legislation as passed would also confirm the governor’s order to reorganize offices within the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.
A news release from Gov. Steve Beshear’s office says the governor expects to sign HB 211 into law today.