Gov. John Kasich (AP file photo)
BY ED GEBERT
Times Bulletin Editor
VAN WERT -- With local school districts over the five calamity day limit, there could be an alternative to make-up days lasting into June.
On Monday, Ohio Gov. John Kasich called for the Ohio Department of Education to work with state legislators to provide some relief for districts. Kasich would like to see a one-time increase in the number of calamity days to apply to the current school year only. The unusually severe weather was cited as the reason for the governor's request.
Crestview Local Schools used its final allowed calamity day on Monday. For Lincolnview, Monday was the sixth day lost to weather problems in this school year. Meanwhile, Van Wert City School Superintendent Ken Amstutz confirmed that Monday was the seventh calamity day used in that district.
“School closures can, of course, be an inconvenience but student safety always comes first. 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 schools 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 weather hits, keeping kids safe,” said Kasich in a press release.
Ohio law allows schools five “calamity” days a year before they must start adding days to the school year. Kasich enacted legislation in 2011 increasing the number of calamity days from three to five.
Later on Monday, St. Rep. Tony Burkley and St. Rep. Brian Hill introduced a bill in the state legislature that would allow school districts to add up to four more calamity days to the current school year.