Competing Ohio Snow Day Plans Headed for Conference Committee

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There’s little debate that most lawmakers think the state has to do something right now to deal with schools that have run out of calamity days.

Snow and cold weather has forced districts to close this winter. Most school districts have hit the five-day mark, while some districts have cancelled school for more than 15 days.

The big question is what should be done. The Ohio House has voted to give districts four extra days, but two of those days have to be used for teacher training. The Ohio Senate passed its own plan that would require districts to use four of their contingency days first. Those are days that schools have scheduled off in case they had to close for more than five days.

Using those could mean a shorter spring break for students, going to school on a holiday or extending the school year. Under the Senate plan, after those days are used, the four extra snow days would be granted -- but one of those would be a professional work day for teachers.

So now the disagreement over how to handle snow days will go to a committee of House and Senate members. That committee will meet next week to hammer out an agreement, and the Ohio House and Senate will meet the following week. Both chambers could pass the agreed upon legislation at that time -- just before schools start to take more time out for spring break.

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