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Skubick: How to make up lost school days? Start the year earlier

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Many students missed a number of school days due to January's frigid weather. Many students missed a number of school days due to January's frigid weather.
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LANSING, Mich. (WJBK) -

With a host of schools bumping up against and even surpassing the six free snow days that schools get each winter, looks like lawmakers will get another chance to decide what to do about it.

Last year in what was described as a one-time fix, schools were allowed to tack onto time at the end of the school day to make up the lost time.  So if your kid normally got out of class at 2:30 p.m., they got out at 2:35 p.m.

Now, if you remember anything about being in school you know that the last few minutes of the day are not spending learning but watching...watching the clock for the bell to ring.  

And that's the point the Michigan Association of School Board lobbyist makes.

"Adding five minutes into the end of the day to make the number of hours, kids are still losing time in the classroom." And Don Wortruba advises lawmakers to just forgive the number of lost days unless that figure grows too large.

"If we're gong to do it, don't worry about the extension cause it's not real.  It makes it look like we're doing the right thing.  Then just say we're forgiving "X" amount of days this year."

While that has some appeal, some will argue kids are suppose to have 180 days in school and anything less does a disservice to them.

Rep. Andy Schor (D-Lansing) is one of those.  He voted for the bill last year but has "concerns" about doing it again.

His solution?

For each snow day lost in winter, tack on the day in the summer.

"I would like to add days at the end...if we have to go five or six days longer, yeah."

He has an easier solution: Start school earlier and then there is a buffer so when Ole Man Winter clobbers the state as he is doing now, you can have more snow days off but still fulfill the 180 requirement.

Only problem with that is the tourism industry does not want schools open before Labor Day which is why Schor's legislation is buried in a snow drift in the Michigan House.

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