Michigan On A Path To Forgive School Snow Days
Due to the extreme cold and winter weather this academic year many Michigan schools canceled school more than 10 days.
Michigan has a law which states that if a school cancels school days in excess of 6 days with three waiver-contingent days the school must make up those days. The state of Michigan requires a minimum of 1,098 hours of instruction over 180 days in an academic calendar year.
Instead of applying Michigan’s law it appears that the Michigan legislature would like to not apply the law and allow Michigan students to not receive the minimum of 1,098 hours of instruction.
The Detroit News is reporting on a bill sponsored by State Representative Ben Frederick, R-Owosso, would ignore the Michigan laws that require K-12 school districts to add days to the school year if school day cancellations surpass the permitted cancellation of six days and the three waiver-contingent days.
This new law would not apply the cancelled school days cancelled during state-declared emergencies against that 6 day count that were.
The obvious question is why did they pass a law which states that Michigan’s K-12 schools cannot cancel more than 6 days of school, and then pass a law which states they can? Make no sense to me.
Michigan’s House Education Committee approved that bill yesterday in a 9-6 vote. This approval now moves the legislation next to the House Ways and Means Committee.
If the Michigan legislature felt that Michigan students need 1,098 hours of instruction why does it matter why a schooled canceled or had to cancel a particular school day? If school is for educating our children and if the state feels 1,098 hours of instruction are needed to do that than do that.
State Representative Frederick was quoted in the article stating:
When the state is shut down in effect and schools are in a position where they, as part of safety, are closing, that shouldn’t count against their snow day bank of days
So the theory seems to be if a school must close down then the children do not need those instructional hours during that day, thus the 1,098 hours mandated as needed by the same legislature means nothing.
State Representative Michele Hoitenga, R-Manton, introduced legislation in the House last month that would permit school districts to meet the 1,098-hour requirement and not the day requirement. Her legislation would allow school districts to add hours to the school day to make up for lost time without cutting into summer break. That sounds fine to me since the whole goal, we were told, was that these students needed 1,098 instructional hours in order to be properly educated.
I understand that teachers and their unions rightfully ask to be paid when given extra job requirements or asked to work extra days. Will these same teachers and unions accept that if they do not work the required hours per their contract that they will not then be paid for those hours?
Do the best job to educate the students of Michigan and if the legislature deemed that 1,098 hours of instruction is needed then give them 1,098 hours.