School calendar bill clears House Education Committee

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by AP

WHAS11.com

Posted on February 27, 2014 at 12:54 PM

FRANKFORT, Ky. (February 26, 2014) - A bill that would change the number of require student attendance days in the Kentucky school calendar from a minimum of 175 days to a minimum of 170 days to give school districts more flexibility in planning their school calendars has cleared the House Education Committee.

House Bill 383, sponsored by Rep. Addie Wuchner, R-Florence, would maintain the same 1,062 instructional hours that schools have now, said Wuchner, and keep the minimum school term at 185 days-including student attendance days, teacher professional days, and school holidays.

"Right now the (language) reads 175 six-hour days," said Wuchner. "When we hold schools to that…they lose the ability-because they only have five, what I call, 'flexible hours' that they could give up-to say 'it's not going to be a six-hour day; it's going to be about a four-hour day' (to) take a two-hours delay rather than take the whole day off."

"It does not diminish or take away the 1,062 instructional hours that we require…but allows (districts) flexibility in planning their school calendar," she said.

Wuchner and other testifying on the bill explained the legislation would help schools that have lost student attendance days this winter due to bad weather.

The bill would also clarify that the state can waive up to 10 days from a school calendar in cases of bad weather or other emergencies for districts that have planned for the change "so that no education is lost during that process," said Wuchner.

Committee Chair Rep. Derrick Graham, D-Frankfort, thanked Wuchner for her work on the bill.
 
"I want to thank the sponsor for working with all the parties that were involved, working with the Department of Education, and working with the Chairman in getting this legislation crafted and sent before the entire House, so thank you, Rep. Wuchner," said Graham.

The bill now goes to the full House for further action. It would take effect immediately should it pass both the House and Senate and become law.

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