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Lawmakers OK Pilot Program To Replace Snow Days With Online Classes

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Snow days could become a thing of the past for Illinois students, under legislation passed by the Illinois General Assembly.

The idea is to turn snow days – or days off school due to extreme cold, or heavy snow – into so-called "e-learning days."

Lawmakers have approved a three-year pilot plan to allow at least three school districts to provide online instruction on emergency days, which would not have to be made up later in the year.

Supporters said the idea has proved successful in Ohio, and students there who do not have Internet access are given packets to take home, and are given a week to turn in the work.

Lessons from the pilot could help lawmakers draw up a statewide e-learning plan, and eliminate the need for snow days.

The Illinois House and Illinois Senate passed the measure last month, but have yet to send it to the governor.

Wednesday was the first of three makeup days for the Chicago Public Schools, after three days of class were canceled this winter due to the snow or cold. The last day of class for students is Friday.

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