As severe winter weather continues across the state, Ohio Governor John Kasich is asking lawmakers to increase calamity days for public school districts.
On Monday, Gov. Kasich urged the Ohio General Assembly and the Ohio Department of Education to work together on legislation that would provide a one-time increase in the number of days school districts can take off due to snow or inclement weather.
So far, this school year, districts in northwest Ohio have used up and exceeded the five days currently allotted by the state for calamity days. Toledo Public, Sylvania, and Perrysburg are just a few of the many districts that, under the current plan, will have to make up any days taken over the five days allowed.
"School districts across Ohio are allowed five calamity days. Then after that, there has to be some plan," said Sylvania Schools Superintendent, Dr. Brad Rieger.
Kasich said a one-time increase of just a few days is needed since so many Ohio schools have used-or are close to using-their five allowable "calamity" days due to the unusually severe winter weather this year.
"School closures can, of course, be an inconvenience but student safety always comes first. 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 schools budgets and schedules," said Kasich. "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."
"If weather in the next couple months dictates that we have to delay or close, I'll go ahead and do that on behalf of student safety. Then we have a contingency plan," said Reiger.
Kasich enacted legislation in 2011 increasing the number of calamity days from three to five. This proposed increase would be for the current school year only.
How many calamity days has your school district used this year? How many do you feel Ohio school districts should be allotted? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.