Marysville News

Statehouse weighs four additional calamity days

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Marysville schools, like other districts in Ohio, are waiting for the state legislature to clarify what to do if they need another calamity day this school year.

Superintendent Diane Mankins told the school board Thursday, Feb. 20, the district has used nine days and made up a day on Presidents Day. It also used two "blizzard bag" days, where students complete assignments online or in take-home packets in lieu of the district calling a calamity day.

March 17 will be used as a makeup day in Marysville schools, pending the outcome of any new legislation.

State Sen. David Burke (R-Marysville) and state Rep. Dorothy Pelanda (R-Marysville) provided additional information to the board about decisions by state lawmakers.

Pelanda said the Ohio House of Representatives passed a bill Wednesday, Feb. 19, that in essence gives schools four extra calamity days. Two of those days would be designated as teacher in-service days, in response to concerns by some legislators that teachers would be getting paid to stay home.

"This will now go to the Senate. If there are modifications, it will come back to the House. If we agree with the Senate and vote on it, then the bill is finalized and sent on to the governor. If the House does not agree with the Senate modifications, then there's a conference committee," Pelanda said.

The committee, which would include members from the Senate and House, would draft a final piece of legislation.

The bill contains an emergency clause designed to move it through the Statehouse quickly.

"When you have an emergency clause, the idea is it will be dealt with very expeditiously. I believe the Senate is basically on the same page. But I know everyone in the general assembly wants to take care of this quickly," Pelanda said.

Burke said the Senate is considering several things, including the bill passed by the House and a bill proposed by Sen. Randy Gardner (R-Bowling Green) that stipulates high school seniors would not have to attend any makeup days scheduled past their graduation date.

"In my heart of hearts, I really do want my kids in school. Blizzard bags are great, but nothing beats being back in school," Burke said.

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