Minnesota schools may seek reprieve for cancelled classes

Minnesota's education officials might have to ask lawmakers for a shorter school year after the frigid cold and blankets of snow forced many schools to cancel classes in recent weeks.

Posted: Feb 11, 2019 10:40 AM
Updated: Feb 11, 2019 1:37 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota's education officials might have to ask lawmakers for a shorter school year after the frigid cold and blankets of snow forced many schools to cancel classes in recent weeks.

The Minnesota Department of Education and lobbying groups are surveying districts about how the last two weeks of extreme winter weather have affected class time totals, the Twin Cities Pioneer Press reported. A number of districts could fall short of the state requirement for days in session unless they schedule makeup days or add time to remaining days.

"Once we have a clearer picture of the situation, we'll be able to determine if legislation will be necessary," said Josh Collins, the department's spokesman.

St. Paul and Minneapolis school districts called off school for five days in the past two weeks because of bitterly cold temperatures or snow. The Stillwater district has already scheduled a makeup day for certain grades after cancelling class for four days this year.

A spokesman for Gov. Tim Walz has assured districts that they won't be punished for keeping students safe.

Minnesota law requires secondary schools to be in session for 165 days and 1,020 hours, while kindergarten through sixth grade generally have lower hourly minimums. But the governor and the state's Education Department cannot penalize schools for failing to meet the instructional hours statute because the law doesn't outline consequences, according to state officials.

"Statute doesn't give us authority to withhold funding or impose some kind of consequence on districts when it comes to instructional time," Collins said. "Like many other areas in a local control state, districts and charters are responsible to their communities for complying with statutes."

___

Information from: St. Paul Pioneer Press, http://www.twincities.com

Article Comments

Mason City
Clear
20° wxIcon
Hi: 24° Lo: 10°
Feels Like: 6°
Albert Lea
Clear
18° wxIcon
Hi: 21° Lo: 10°
Feels Like: 9°
Austin
Clear
25° wxIcon
Hi: 26° Lo: 9°
Feels Like: 13°
Charles City
Overcast
25° wxIcon
Hi: 24° Lo: 7°
Feels Like: 13°
Rochester
Clear
24° wxIcon
Hi: 24° Lo: 9°
Feels Like: 12°
Below average to finish off the work week
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Over 1,200 shirts sold for officer Matson

Image

Reducing deadly force encounters

Image

Sara's Daybreak Forecast - Wednesday

Image

2nd shooting in as many days in Mason City

Image

GMLOS wrestling preps for state wrestling tournament

Image

Chris' PM Weather Forecast 2/25

Image

Electric powered bus

Image

Minnesota's precinct caucuses

Image

Clay model for Marion Ross

Image

Second shooting in two days

Community Events