A bill that would give S.C. school districts permission to forgive days missed due to snow and ice cleared a critical hurdle Wednesday in the state Senate.
The bill would allow districts to forgive up to five missed days of instruction if the local school board or governing body approves.
But, first, districts must hold classes on three makeup days, already built into their school calendars, before forgiving more missed days. If the bill becomes law, any makeup days a district already has used would count toward those three.
The Senate gave the bill the second approval of three required to pass in the chamber. The third vote, expected Thursday, is largely perfunctory.
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The bill already has passed the S.C. House. It has moved swiftly, offering relief to districts that have missed days due to two winter storms this year that blanketed the state in snow and ice, closed government offices statewide and led to the governor to declare a state of emergency.
State law requires schools to be in session for 180 days each school year. School districts must include three days in their calendars to make up days of instruction missed due to bad weather. If the days are not needed, they become holidays for students.
State lawmakers forgave up to five snow days in 2011. However, some districts chose not to forgive the missed days. That remains an option for school districts this year.