Senate majority leader opposes excusing snow days


LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — After calling off classes for bout after bout of nasty winter weather, some school districts have been hoping state lawmakers will forgive extra snow days. One bill was even introduced that would forgive up to five days.

On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey made it seem like he was reluctant to go along with that plan.

“I feel sorry for what we are enduring from a weather standpoint this year, but I’m not really interested in taking more school days away from our kids,” Shirkey, R-Clark Lake, said while speaking with reporters in Lansing. “We are already, in certain areas, underperforming. They need all the school days we can get.”

With Republicans in control of both the state House and Senate, Shirkey’s opinion carries weight.

>>Inside Snow days won’t impact school count day totals

Here’s how make-up days work: Each school district is allowed six snow days. Schools can also submit waivers with the state for an additional three days. Assuming those waivers are approved, the magic number is nine days. Anything beyond that, they have to make up.

Some West Michigan districts have already met or surpassed that limit. Ionia has had 18 snow days, including on Thursday; Rockford has had 14; Forest Hills 12, Grand Rapids 10 and Jenison nine.

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