Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Snow day backlash

Senate Bill 1297: Prohibits the Secretary of Education from allowing a school district to reduce the number of instructional days due to school closures resulting from severe weather conditions unless expressly authorized by an act of the General Assembly or unless the school district can demonstrate that the number of days schools were closed due to severe weather exceeds the number of remaining available days through June 30. Under this proposal, school districts must utilize all available days through June 30 in order to meet the state’s 180 day instructional requirement, including those days previously scheduled for vacation, in-service or Saturdays. The bill does provide for student absences for religious observances on Saturdays. The bill does not affect current provisions relating to graduating seniors. SB 1297 prohibits the Secretary of Education from making payments to school districts for instructional days not completed due to severe weather conditions. SB 1297 awaits further consideration by the full House.
Generally, our family has a big attraction to the concept of "No Child Left Behind" in that when we travel -- we generally always bring our kids with us. We've taken them to China, New Zealand and other far off places -- skipping school, so to speak. As this blog is posted, we've left our kids in school in Pittsburgh while we go to the Middle East.

Point is, every rule can be broken from time to time. That's flexibility. That's valued. When we pulled our kids out of school and went to China and missed 20 or 30 days of school, -- we were still learning, teaching and exploring.

I don't like a ridgid life. And, I really don't want to put too much power into the hands of the PA House of Represenatives.

Perhaps these guys were not so interested in the power of the decision, but the sadness that comes when they are the one's who can grant a snow vacation as a legit time away from the classroom. They wanted to play Santa Clause with school days -- not the Secretary of Education.

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