By Mark Carpenter
On Monday, Ohio Governor John R. Kasich sent the call forward to the Ohio General Assembly and the Ohio Department of Education to work together on legislation that will provide a one-time increase in the number of calamity days that a school system can use in the event of snow or bad weather. Kasich says the legislation is necessary because so man Ohio schools have used or eclipsed their five allowable calamity days due to unusual harsh weather of the winter of 2013-14.
“School closures, can, of course, be an inconvenience but student safety always comes first,” said Kasich. “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 school 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,” added the Ohio governor.
Manchester Local School District Superintendent Craig Hockenberry agrees with the governor’s plans, seeing no educational or financial value in adding days on to the end of the school year.
“In my personal opinion, there is simply no value, educational or financial, in adding make up days at the end of the year,” Hockenberry told The Defender on Monday. “The standardized tests are already over and kids have already graduated, not to mention the financial burden put on the school district.”
Ohio law allows school districts five calamity days a year before they must start adding days to the school year. Governor Kasich enacted legislation in 2011 that increased the number of calamity days back to five after it had been dropped to three. This proposed increase would only affect the current school year.