SC house bill would forgive school snow days

02/07/2014 7:36 PM

02/07/2014 8:25 PM

School districts across South Carolina would not have to make up missed days because of last week’s snowstorm under a plan that passed the state House of Representatives this week.

The bill now heads to the state Senate.

“I cannot imagine anyone in the South Carolina Senate being opposed to (the bill),” said state Sen. John Courson, R-Richland, the Senate’s president pro tempore and chairman of the Senate Education Committee.

State law requires public school students to have 180 days in the classroom each school year. It also requires districts to build three weather makeup days into their calendar. If the schools don’t need them, they become student holidays.

Several Midlands school districts missed two days last week because of the snowstorm. Other school districts toward the coast missed more days.

Late last week, most Midlands districts announced they would make up the missed days.

Four of those districts — Lexington 1, 3 and 4, and Richland 2 — will make up the first missed day next week, going to school on Feb. 14, which would have been a holiday if not for the snow. Three other districts — Richland 1, Lexington 2 and Lexington-Richland 5 — have scheduled a makeup day for Feb. 17.

Whether any of those districts now will reverse course is unknown, in part because the snow-days-forgiveness bill has yet to pass the Senate.

State lawmakers forgave up to five snow days in 2011 after a particularly brutal winter. But some school districts chose not to waive the missed days. Lexington 1 made up one of its missed days on Memorial Day 2011, for example, only to see 30 percent of the district’s 22,500 students not show up.

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