Snow day forgiveness bill gets final approval from governor
Lansing — Students and teachers won’t have to tack on an extra four days to their school calendar in the next month thanks to legislation signed Friday by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
Despite roads bumps in the Legislature, the snow day forgiveness bill received its final approval. The legislation would exempt school districts from having to make up snow day cancellations during a record winter cold spell between Jan. 29 and Feb. 2 that prompted a state emergency declaration.
The bill gives relief to students and faculty affected by the state's increasingly "erratic and extreme weather patterns," Whitmer said in a statement.
“This legislation will provide certainty to families and school districts who need to prepare for the end of the school year, but we need to get serious about tackling this problem in the future and ensuring that students receive a quality education," she said.
Michigan schools are required to provide a minimum of 1,098 hours of instruction over 180 days, but the schools already receive exemption for up to nine days of cancellations because of emergencies.
The proposal signed by Whitmer adds four days to that list of exemptions.
Earlier this year, the House added provisions that would ensure most hourly workers were still paid for those four days, but the Senate stripped them from the bill.
Senate Democrats initially refused to give the bill immediate effect for implementation during the current school year because of the absence of hourly worker provisions, but relented two days later.
Republicans argued the pay provision was unnecessary because school districts already have the power to compensate hourly workers for cancelled classes, and many have contracts that address the issue.