Bill relaxing Ky. school attendance laws awaiting Gov. Beshear's - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Bill relaxing Ky. school attendance laws awaiting Gov. Beshear's signature

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A bill relaxing Kentucky's school attendance laws is awaiting Gov. Steve Beshear's signature.

After more than a week of on again off again negotiations between the house and the senate, the snow days bill is finally on its way to the governor's signature.

Gov. Beshear will sign the bill on Monday, according to a press release. The governor's office says schools can now adjust their calendars to reflect the new law.

The House passed a final compromise, 97-1, after the Senate's approval Thursday night.

Both the Kentucky House and Senate have approved a bill that would suspend the state law requiring school districts have at least 170 days of classes this school year - as long as districts have at least 1,062 hours of classroom time. The only exception is no school district can have classes after June 6.

At least seven Kentucky school districts have missed more than 30 days of classes because of snowy weather. Another 40 districts have missed at least 20 days.

"From what we understand, superintendents are already planning to try to comply and only a few districts will likely not be able to meet those requirements without some waiver from the commissioner," said House Speaker Greg Stumbo.

The House applauded itself, but the bill passed not a moment too soon. On Thursday, Bullitt County revised its calendar in anticipation of the bill's passage. Officials there said they couldn't wait any longer.

"Well, it's something we had been waiting on for a long time," said Tim Wiseheart, Bullitt County Schools Board Chair. "Parents need to know and our community needed to know and we had people wanting to make plans."

Stumbo agrees lawmakers should have moved more quickly.

"It's a shame we couldn't have got them some information earlier, but they still have a target date to get out of there with, and they've got a specific plan they can enact." Stumbo said.

But Stumbo says the legislature must come up with a long-term solution to the snow days problem.

"We seem to have more and more of these catastrophe situations," Stumbo said.

Jefferson County has scheduled its last day of classes for June 12. There is no word yet on whether JCPS will readjust its schedule based on the new law.

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