A proposed measure to allow five local school districts the ability to have more control over making up the number of days, or hours, missed due to weather was filed in the Senate last week. Senator Dan Soucek, who represents the High Country, filed the measure on Wednesday (March 11), and it passed the first reading in the Senate chamber on Thursday.
The measure would allow schools in Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Caldwell & Watauga to give the local Boards of Education more control over making up time lost due to weather or other emergency situations.
The measure reads: “The school shall provide instruction each year for at least 185 days or 1,025 hours over nine calendar months. If, however, a school is closed due to inclement weather, a natural disaster, damage to a school facility, or a state of emergency, the school is required to make up a maximum of the average number of days or hours made up for the last five years.”
In 2014-15 Watauga County Schools have missed 17 days so far (as of March 15), and an average of 18.2 days have been missed for the five year period from the start of the 2009 school year through the end of the 2014 calendar year. For a look at Watauga Schools weather closing history visit this link.
The measure now moves to the Committee for Rules and Operations of the Senate where changes could be made, the measure could die completely, or it could be sent back to the Senate for a second reading. The measure would have to pass three readings/votes in the Senate before moving to the House for consideration.