Pols might consider waiving 180-day requirement for schools

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In light of superstorm Sandy, the state Legislature might consider relaxing the requirement that schools hold classes for 180 days in an academic year, a key lawmaker said Thursday.

Sen. John Flanagan (R-East Northport), chairman of the Senate Education Committee, said he plans on introducing a bill to ease the requirement because so many downstate schools have lost power during the storm and might not return to normal for a while.

“This is an extraordinary set of circumstances,” Flanagan said. “It’s real. It’s dire. And it’s something schools have no control over.”

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Flanagan said he considered introducing a bill “as soon as it’s feasible” and that giving schools flexibility is “a prudent, responsible step.”

A spokesman for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) said the chamber would review the idea along with other storm-related issues.

Last year, the Legislature waived the 180-day requirement for some schools in the Southern Tier hit by Hurricane Irene.


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