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Minnesota Senate Passes School Snow Day Bill

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- The Minnesota Senate Thursday overwhelmingly passed a bill allowing school districts to write off snow days.

In this record-setting brutal winter, Minnesota schools are also setting records-- for the number of snow days they've had to call because the weather is just too bad. That's why Sen. Carla Nelson thinks the state needs to step in.

"I've talked to a number of superintendents who amazingly enough have said this is the hardest decision they have to make," said Sen. Carla Nelson, (R) E-12 Finance and Policy.

In normal winters, schools must make up snow days, even if they have to extend the school year. But this year, Nelson told the Senate some districts need to make up as many as 10 days -- well into June.

"You can imagine what that would do to graduation. You can imagine what that would do to family vacations, whether they be to resorts up north, or to other places," Nelson said.

School Bus In Snow
(credit: CBS)

Not everyone agrees. Sen. Jeff Howe one of only two "no" votes. He says schools should make up the days -- even if they have to cancel spring break.

"You see some schools districts that have canceled their spring breaks had their kids go to school because they know that they've had these snow days," said Sen. Jeff Howe, (R) Rockville

There's also the toughness factor. Some Senators reminisced about the old days, waiting for school closing announcements on WCCO Radio.

"It didn't seem like we canceled school near as often as we do these days," Howe said.

Minnesota Senators Thursday night are heroes to school children all across the state. Without this bill, they could be going to school well into June. The snow day exemption would apply only to this winter.

Gov. Tim Walz supports the idea of erasing some days from the school calendar.

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