Snyder signs bill relaxing snow day penalties for current school year

Gov. Rick Snyder signed a new law Thursday sparing school districts from losing state funding for missing too many days due to this past winter’s unusually poor weather.

Normally, school districts must provide at least 1,098 hours of instruction over the course of at least 170 days. If districts don't meet both the days and hours requirements, they are ineligible for state aid.

Public Act 29 of 2013 changes that requirement for the 2012-13 school year, and allows districts that weren't open at least 170 days to continue receiving state funding, as long as they still meet the 1,098-hour minimum. The new law only applies to the current school year.

To be eligible for the waiver under the new law, districts must have had been closed only for conditions beyond the control of school authorities, such as severe storms, fires, utility outages or certain public health reasons.

The bill was largely uncontroversial, passing the House, 106-1, and the Senate, 34-1.