I don’t think a single square inch of the state has been spared this
brutal winter. About the time I heard the term “polar vortex” being
thrown around, I had a feeling this might not be a typical winter.
this has caused extra work for the crews tasked with clearing off the
roads, it has also raised issues for school districts, many of which
used up their allotted number of calamity days early in the year. As of
February 7th, approximately one-third of the state’s school districts
had used all five of their calamity days. Among the school districts
that responded to a survey conducted by the Buckeye Association of
School Administrators, the average number of days used was nine. Some
school districts in the 82nd House District have used upwards of 10.
the winter weather kept hitting Ohio and much of the Midwest, it became
apparent something needed to be done to ensure students and faculty
remained safe. I teamed up with Rep. Brian Hill of southeast Ohio to
sponsor House Bill 416, which I believe would help to alleviate some of
The version we put forward called for two
additional calamity days and allowed for two additional professional
development days for teachers. The professional development days may
count toward the required minimum number of school days. Details are
still being ironed out between the House and Senate versions, but I am
confident that the two chambers will find a compromise that works for
Other options are available as well. Many school
districts have found alternative ways to make up their lost days,
including the use of “blizzard bags,” a compilation of assignments and
resources students can take home and complete to keep them from falling
further behind in their studies.
The ideas put forward in House
Bill 416 are a temporary fix and will only be potentially adopted for
this school year. Beginning in the 2014-2015 school year, districts will
switch from measuring in days to hours, which I believe will provide
additional — and much-needed — flexibility for schools around the state.
Burkley may be reached by calling (614) 644-5091, e-mailing
Rep82@ohiohouse.gov or writing to State Representative Tony Burkley, 77
South High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215.