Educators Denounce Bill to Shorten School Year; Kids Hail it

Courtney Williams's picture
Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Often, when it comes to adjusting the school year, the idea is to extend it. But a bill sitting in the Ohio House Education Committee is intended to do the opposite. And some people don’t think shortening the school year is such a great idea.

As introduced, HB 191 would limit the school year to Labor Day through Memorial Day and also change state laws about the minimum time students actually have to spend in school. Currently, schools must be open for 182 days. The bill would have districts count school time in hours rather than days. That could — emphasis on the could — allow districts to shorten the time students spend in school.

The bill’s co-sponsor, Rep. Bill Hayes, R-Harrison Township, told StateImpact last year that he introduced the bill in order to boost Ohio’s tourism industry.

Hayes has since made changes to the law in response to opposition from education groups. Those changes include eliminating provisions about when extracurricular activities can start and eliminating the requirement that the school year end by Memorial Day.

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