Kasich to ask legislature for more school snow days

By Dustin Ensinger

January 26, 2014

Delaware County’s four public schools districts exhausted their five allotted calamity days on Monday, and with more winter weather bearing down on the region, they could be forced to extend their school year a few days into the summer.

However, the districts could get a reprieve from Gov. John Kasich, who on Tuesday asked the Ohio General Assembly to approve legislation granting a one-time increase in the number of calamity days the state provides.

Kasich said the move is designed to allow districts to focus on student safety.

“School closures can, of course, be an inconvenience but student safety always comes first,” he said in a press release. “Many schools have already hit the maximum number of snow days, or will soon, and if they exceed it and have to extend the school year it can wreak havoc with school budgets and schedules. Giving schools a few extra snow days this year will be helpful and let everyone stay focused on the top priority when the weather hits, keep kids safe.”

The proposal does not call for a specific number of calamity days to be added, but Rep. Andrew Brenner (R-Powell) does believe the legislature will pass a measure giving districts some measure of relief.

“This is something that we’ve brought up in the prior General Assembly,” he said. “I think we’ll pass something.”

While the governor did not get specific, a pair of legislators have, introducing a bill that would add four calamity days to each district’s total.

Rep. Margaret Ann Ruhl sees no problem with giving districts additional calamity days.

“We’ve done it before when we’ve had really bad winters,” she said.

Districts across Ohio area allotted five calamity days each year.