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MN Senate advances 'Snow Day Relief Act'

Sen. Carla Nelson (R-Rochester) Sen. Carla Nelson (R-Rochester)

Would help districts deal with so many class days lost to snow storms.

Posted: Feb. 27, 2019 5:49 PM
Updated: Feb. 27, 2019 5:52 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The State Senate Education Committee has approved a bill to help school districts deal with an avalanche of snow days.

The “Snow Day Relief Act” would allow Minnesota school boards to count snow days taken during the 2018-2019 school year as regular school days, allowing the school districts to avoid possible funding cuts for not meeting the state requirement of 165 school days.

“Across our state, extraordinary winter weather circumstances have prevented students from safely attending school,” says Senator Carla Nelson, Rochester Republican and Chair of the Senate E-12 Education Finance and Policy Committee. “In keeping our students safe, school districts face a struggle to meet Minnesota’s calendar requirement. This bill gives local school boards the option to forgive days to ensure stable funding and avoid unreasonable scheduling disruptions for students and families.”

The legislation, which now heads to the floor of the Minnesota Senate, would also encourage school districts who fail to reach the 165 days requirement to adopt an e-learning day plan for the future.

“School districts across Minnesota have the option of e-learning days in meeting our state’s instruction requirements,” says Nelson. “Many districts have already adopted plans that have allowed students to learn from the safety of their own homes on dangerous weather days. While this should not be a one-size-fits-all approach, local school boards should examine if e-learning days are a fit for them in dealing with snow days in the future.”

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