Yesterday, Governor Kasich signed a bill restoring four “calamity days” to schools while surrounded by school kids. Kasich made a very big deal to point out to the kids that, thanks to him, they wouldn’t have to do extra homework or miss out on vacations. But, in actual fact, that is not at all the case.
While the headlines claim the bill gives districts “four more” calamity days (the law already excuses up to five snow days per year), there’s a catch:
to use the extra calamity days, schools must first make up four other snow days, such as by holding school on a scheduled holiday. In total, schools must have canceled more than nine days to use the extra “calamity days.“
According to the Plain Dealer, the average district in Ohio missed 9.5 days. Kids in a typical district that missed 9.5 days of school now have to make up four days of school instead of the four and a half the law currently requires.
At the signing, Kasich joked with the kids:
“This means you get to go to school four extra days. Oh, no, it’s the opposite.”
No, it’s actually not the opposite at all. You really do get to go to school four extra days. Or enjoy longer school days for the rest of the year. Or take four days worth of homework along with you on spring break. The break only comes if your district missed more than the average number of days, and you only get a “break” after those four days of extra school or homework are complete.
For most kids, all they will experience is four extra days of homework over spring break, cancelled vacation days or 30 extra minutes a day for the rest of the year. Despite his claims otherwise, kids in most Ohio districts will get to go to school an extra four days even with this legislation.