Book pushes for calamity day relief

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Proposed state legislation may take away a school’s worries on when to make up snow days.

Jason Meeker, an aide for State Rep. Todd Book (D-McDermott) of the 89th District, said legislation that could give districts affected by last week's storm some relief was being introduced yesterday.

This legislation would allow for days missed in conjunction with last week's storm to not be counted against districts, provided they missed three or more consecutive days between Feb. 17 and Feb. 28.

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The bill, however, would not affect calamity days already missed or future calamity days. These days would still adhere to the state's five-day policy and would have to be rescheduled.

The state requires schools to be in class a minimum of 182 days, and allows for five calamity days when school can be canceled because of weather or other emergencies.

The legislation has six co-sponsors, both Republicans and Democrats, Book said.

As written, the legislation would only affect Rock Hill and Symmes Valley in Lawrence County. Rock Hill had to cancel school all of last week and Symmes Valley called off classes Monday through Thursday.

"This is an emergency situation for much of Southern Ohio, and should be treated as such," Book said. "In a situation where schools have no electricity and it is perilous to simply drive on the roads that are open, we can't expect a school district to be open for business."