Although bitterly cold temperatures closed fewer schools today (1/29) than yesterday, many area schools cancelled classes for the third day in a row this week. Michigan law allows schools to close no more than the equivalent of six days in order to qualify for state aid, but this year's relentless winter has forced administrators to exceed that number for numerous districts.

Last year, Michigan Rep. Phil Potvin sponsored a bill granting districts the authority to extend school hours, rather than adding days to school calendars. 17 Michigan districts took advantage of the one-time pass. Now the Congressman from Cadillac is introducing legislature to grant districts that flexibility on a permanent basis.

State law requires districts to provide 1,098 hours of educational time, or 170 days in class. This proposal would give districts the ability to meet the required educational hours, while allowing students to attend fewer than the allotted 170 days.

  • Should Michigan lawmakers grant districts the flexibility to extend school hours without adding days to their calendars?
  • Are schools too hasty when it comes to cancelling classes because of snow or extreme temperatures?

Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

- George McIntyre
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