Republican state Reps. Tony Burkley and Brian Hill have introduced a plan to add four calamity days this year following a call from Gov. Kasich who said many schools have exhausted their five allowable days off for snow or bad weather, or soon will.
John Charlton at the Ohio Department of Education explains the Governor thinks many schools are going to exhaust the five calamity days now currently allowed by law. And Charlton says the hope is the extra calamity days will make it safer for school children.
"The number one priority is making sure the students are safe," says Charlton. "And we don’t want school districts feeling like they have to get the kids to schools, putting them in unsafe conditions on school buses. We want to make sure their safety is the first thing thought of. So I think that what Governor Kasich is trying to do is to make sure we are giving the superintendents, the decision makers at the local school districts the ability to say “You know what. It is okay to take more than five days off. We can either make them up or find a solution that’s going to fit our needs and make sure that we still get the appropriate education for the students yet at the same time, we are not sacrificing their safety.”
Charlton points out school districts already have an option to allow students to make up missed days via the internet or bookbag work. About a fifth of Ohio’s districts have applied to use that option. Governor Kasich’s proposed increased would be for the current school year only.