With the Kentucky Legislature debating two bills that would essentially allow some school districts to forgive up to 10 missed days of school, there still remains more questions than answers when it comes to determining how the Grayson County school system will make-up its eight remaining days of missed instruction.
House Bill 211 passed out of committee on Tuesday by an 11-0 vote, and House Bill 410 passed the full House 82-8 on March 14. Both bills are still being debated, and must be passed by the full Senate and then be signed by Governor Steve Beshear before they become law.
The latest proposal states that school districts that have to amend its calendar school year, must submit a plan to the state by May 1. That plan must include 1,062 hours of instruction.
“Right now, the Senate (Education Committee) passed House Bill 211, (but) the Speaker of the House says he doesn’t like that bill, so the Senate has passed (its own) bill,” Grayson County School Superintendent Barry Anderson said.
With the waters seemingly muddied by political maneuvering, Anderson seems skeptical as to whether anything will get done to offer relief to school districts.
“The House has passed a House Bill that the Senate says they don’t like; I don’t know that anything is going to happen, to be honest,” Anderson said. “I don’t know if there’s going to be anything that’s going to help us.”
Anderson stated at last week’s School Board meeting that he would recommend to the board that the district use the first three days of spring break, plus either a Saturday or Memorial Day, as student instructional days to offset the missed time.
“Here’s what I think,” Anderson said about how the school system might make-up the days. “The (Education) Commissioner is still pretty much saying school districts are going to have to have 1,062 hours (of instruction) in, so my hope right now is that they would give us a waiver for at least one day, where wouldn’t have to go Memorial Day.”
Meaning, the possible 10 day waiver included in both House Bills 211 and 410, seems to not apply to the Grayson County School System.
“Based on what the commissioner is putting out, again, even though they might pass something (that allows some districts) to waive up to 10 days, well, we couldn’t waive (even) five days if we have to get 1,062 hours in,” Anderson stated. “That’s going to take us every day we have scheduled. The way it looks to me, we might have a chance (to forgive) one day. But you know things can change, because the legislature could come up with something (else).”
Although the battling legislature is, at this time, not mandating how to make up the missed days, Anderson’s primary concern remains educating students.
“As of now, they haven’t passed anything that’s passed both bodies” of the legislature, Anderson said. “And if they don’t, I’m not going to worry about it. We’re going to go (to school) … none of us think it is okay to not go to school. We value education, but we’d like a little bit of help to keep us out of June. And none of us like to go on a Saturday or Memorial Day if we can keep from it.”