UPDATE 4/13/11 @ 10:50 a.m.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Gov. John Kasich has given Ohio schools more snow days, a move that he jokes will mean "more sled-riding."
Kasich on Wednesday signed a bill providing schools with five calamity days per year, up from three. The measure applies to the current school year.
He says the legislation reflects that student safety is a priority.
A harsh winter meant many districts quickly used up their three days, leaving them with the choice of holding school in bad weather or canceling classes and adding days later in the school year.
The governor says under the new law schools that exceed their five days may compensate by lengthening the school day by 30 minutes.
School districts previously had five calamity days but lost two under former Gov. Ted Strickland.
The legislation would apply to the current school year.
A relentless winter had led many schools to use up their current allotment of three calamity days, meaning they would have to make up any further time lost due to weather.
School districts previously had five days but lost two under former Gov. Ted Strickland.
The Ohio House had balked at certain Senate changes to the bill, which had temporarily stalled it. But the Senate voted last week to remove its revisions, including a requirement that school districts provide transportation to students of charter schools during make-up days.
House lawmakers Tuesday did not agree with certain changes the Senate made to the legislation. It's now up to a legislative committee to hash out the differences between the two chambers before the bill can be sent to Gov. John Kasich . He's expected to sign it.
The measure would give schools two more calamity days beyond the three they're currently allowed. School districts used to have five days, but lost two under former Gov. Ted Strickland. Harsh winter weather quickly pushed schools beyond that limit during the current school year.
Lawmakers have taken issue with revisions that would require school districts to provide transportation to students of charter schools during make-up days
The Senate voted 32-1 on Tuesday to go back to five annual calamity days that don't have to be made up by school districts. The number was cut to three under former Gov. Ted Strickland. Harsh winter weather quickly pushed schools beyond that limit during the current school year.
The Columbus Dispatch reports the Senate's version of the bill would let schools teach through online and take-home assignments for up to three days a year. They would not count as calamity days if the work is finished by at least 80 percent of students.
The legislation faces one more vote in the House. Gov. John Kasich wants to sign it into law.
Republican John Kasich says his 10-year-old daughter Reese brought up the issue, and he also has heard complaints from other children and parents about the cutback to three calamity days last year. Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland reduced the "snow days" from five as a way to ensure more classroom time for Ohio's students.
Kasich says he wants to switch back to five calamity days after he takes office, noting that Ohio has a climate that includes "bad weather."
After using three calamity days, schools must make up other days when classes are canceled by scheduling school during what would normally be vacation breaks.