News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Hennes Paynter Communications

Meaden & Moore


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Ohio


Why Ohio's calamity days bill took so long
Teachers won't have to make up as many days as previously thought
by WKSU's STATEHOUSE BUREAU CHIEF KAREN KASLER


Reporter
Karen Kasler
 
In The Region:
As this brutal winter finally shows signs of ending, school districts will likely get extra four days that they don’t have to make up. And both students and teachers are included in those four days. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler examines why it took so long for the calamity days bill to pass.
Why Ohio's calamity days bill took so long

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:20)


As both the snow totals and the days that districts cancelled classes climbed into the double-digits this winter, there was growing frustration with the school calendar that lay ahead. And as state lawmakers considered how many extra calamity days to extend to schools, a question started developing in the Republican-dominated legislature. Rep. Lynn Wachtmann of Napoleon in northwest Ohio expressed it on the floor of the Ohio House. 

“Why can’t the rest of the education community come to work and maybe learn something if that’s what they need to do? Why give them another two days to cheat the kids out of their academic education?”

The calamity days bill gave students four days off that don’t have to be made up. But the House version required teachers to make up two of those days with professional development – the Senate version demanded one make-up day. But teachers say a snow day is no day off. Rachel Bishop is a kindergarten teacher in Georgetown in Brown County in southwest Ohio, and a mother of three kids who would also be home if school is cancelled. 

“I get up early in the morning at the same time I normally do while they’re sleeping, and I go through materials and plan out lessons. So it is not a day of sit up, put my feet up. It’s a day of, ‘OK, great, I get to work and get maybe caught up on a little bit on all that I’ve gotten behind on.’”

Melissa Cropper heads the Ohio Federation of Teachers, the smaller of Ohio’s two teachers’ unions. She says Bishop’s snow day activities are typical. 

“I think what these conversations leave out are all the hours that teachers work above and beyond what they’re paid for already. It’s important to remember that these are salaried positions, and maybe on a snow day, there might be an hour where they’re not doing school work or something, but they more than make up for that time throughout the course of the year when they’re doing the job.”

School officials argued that some teachers were involved in online teaching on snow days, and many others prepared so-called “blizzard bags” for students to work on at home. Damon Asbury with the Ohio School Boards Association said the arguments about teachers making up days didn’t make sense to his members. 

“I’ve had some superintendents and board members say to me, ‘Well, if the teachers are coming in, then let’s bring the kids in. Let’s make up the instructional time.’”

In the end, Republican House Education Committee chair Gerald Stebelton of Lancaster said the teacher make up requirement was dropped because Senators didn’t like it, and because, as he noted on the House floor as yet another storm was coming across Ohio during the vote, the weeks-long debate over the bill had to end. 

“Mr. Speaker, it’s snowing outside. We need to pass this immediately.”

Many districts have used more than a dozen calamity days, so even with four additional forgiven days, there are still plenty to make up. Students in some parts of Ohio will have to do work from those blizzard bags over spring break to make up lost days, and some districts have expanded half-days to full days, and may add an extra half-hour onto the school day to avoid extending the calendar into summer.
Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Canton's proposed Timken-McKinley school merger is drawing spirited debate
From a sports opinion Varsity would have a lot more talent to choose from So Im sure varsity sports would improve.Also Timkens name would be much more published...

Canton school board will decide whether to merge high schools
I really hope we can save those jobs, usually we try to cut budgets but the demand is still the same. Then we look bad a year or two after the descion is made. ...

FirstEnergy wants PUCO guarantees on nuclear and coal prices
Would just comment that the plant has admitted the following (as reporting in the Akron Beacon Journal): "The utility has said it may have difficulty keeping t...

Mozzarella's easy when you have a way with curd
Hello, Where can I get such a heater that you have? Does it hold temperature that you set? What brand and model is it? Thank you in advance!! :)

Pluto: A healthy LeBron James is the key for the rocky Cavs
It's time to back our Cleveland professional teams through thick and thin. I've seen management, players and coaches come and go and it hasn't changed a thing. ...

Legal marijuana group offers new details about ballot issue
Americans feel as if they should have the right to decide on their own if and when it is or is not a responsible time to have a drink or smoke a joint. The fac...

The PUCO is assessing what happened in Akron's AT&T outage
not the first time for that steam pipe break... happened in the late 70's when the office was being converted to electronic switch ESS.. was a big mess then but...

The freeze of green-energy standards hurts Ohio wind and solar industries
What do we do at night and when the wind isn't blowing? Where does the power come from to back-up these renewable sources?

Gov. Kasich may still face budget battles with Ohio lawmakers
Governor Kasich continues to disappoint many of us who voted for him when he was elected Governor four years ago. It is way past time for charter schools to b...

FairlawnGig could bring super-fast fiber optic internet to the city
Sign me up! When can we have it. It is not nice to tease us with the possibility and then make us wait. Though I have to add that the speed to China does req...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University