East Ticks off School Days Lost to Snow, Irene

Courtney Williams's picture
Friday, November 4, 2011

Education officials in the Northeast worried Thursday about having to shorten school vacations to make up for all the days students have missed because of power failures caused by last weekend's snowstorm, combined with days lost to Hurricane Irene at the start of the academic year.

Many schools are closed this entire week as crews continue efforts to restore power to about 760,000 utility customers who remain in the dark in several states Thursday. Last weekend's storm dumped an inch to more than 30 inches of wet, heavy snow across the region and took down thousands of trees and wires, cutting power to more than 3 million homes and businesses.

Connecticut schools must have at least 180 days of classes during the academic year and finish by June 30 under state law. Many districts have already lost five to 10 days of classes and used up most of the snow days they set aside as a cushion.

New Jersey officials also are concerned about having used up a bunch of snow days before the winter even officially starts. The number of schools that remain closed dwindled to a handful Thursday, although some that reopened delayed their start times.

Connecticut was hard hit by the snowstorm and still had 430,000 customers without power Thursday, followed by Massachusetts with 140,000 and New Jersey with 91,000. Some homes and businesses may not get their electricity restored until next week.

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