At a press conference held at the Ohio Statehouse, State Representative Casey Kozlowski (R-Pierpont) heralded the passage of House Bill 36 from the Ohio House of Representatives by a vote of 92-5. The legislation would increase the number of calamity days that school districts are allocated annually.

House Bill 36 restores the number of excusable calamity days to five, which would take effect immediately and allow two additional calamity days for the remainder of the 2010-2011 school year. It will also allow schools the flexibility to make up calamity days by lengthening the school day in 30-minute increments.

“As a past president of the Pymatuning Valley Board of Education, I understand the importance of calamity days to a school year in northeast Ohio,” said Kozlowski, who serves on the House Education Committee. “More importantly, it is vital for school districts to have the freedom and ability to decide if it is safe to operate the buses, for parents to drive their children, or for children to walk to school. House Bill 36 accomplishes this goal.”

In the past, the first five calamity days of each school year were excused and school districts made up calamity days beyond the fifth. However, as a result of an amendment to House Bill 1 during the 128th General Assembly, only three calamity days are now excused beginning in the 2010-2011 school year, and many districts have already used all available calamity days because of recent snow storms.

“We live in a state with unpredictable snowy winters that often make it impossible to navigate the roads, particularly in the rural areas and around the lake region,” said State Representative John Carey (R-Wellston), who sponsored the bill with Kozlowski. “I’m pleased that this legislation gives schools more tools for their tool belts as they decide what is best for their students.”

House Bill 36 passed from the House Education Committee with unanimous bipartisan support and now moves to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.


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