Outman supports snow day relief for local schools

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Rick Outman on Thursday voted in favor of legislation that would give flexibility to schools who missed more than the nine allotted snow days during this winter’s extreme weather throughout the state.

“Schools in my district have had snow days up until just a few weeks ago,” said Outman, R-Six Lakes. “We live in Michigan, we all expect winter weather, but this season was a bit much. Teachers and administrators have been asking for help and I think this legislation provides some flexibility that allows school districts to make decisions that best suit their needs.”

The State School Aid Act requires each district to provide at least 180 days and 1,098 hours of pupil instruction. The first six days or the equivalent number of hours that students are not in the classroom due to snow days or other weather or natural emergencies are waived and included as hours of instruction. School superintendents can also apply for a waiver that allows them to cancel three additional days of school. The request must explain why the extra days are needed and why they cannot be rescheduled.

House Bill 4206 would amend the act to allow schools, for 2018-2019 only, to request that the Department of Education approve up to four more days when school was not in session if those days occurred during a governor-declared state of emergency. The dates covered in the governor’s state of emergency are Jan. 29 through Feb. 1, 2019.

“I am glad we were able to go back and get this right after a small hitch,” Outman said. “Many schools are already going well into the summer. This is a one-time fix, applicable only to this year, that gives parents, teachers and students a bit of relief at the end of the school year.”

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