Ohio law allows school districts only five calamity days per school year. Gov. John Kasich wants that figure extended. We back Kasich's idea.
This has been an extraordinary winter with extreme temperatures, seemingly each week, and excessive snowfall, easily more than we've received to this point the last two winter seasons.
Most all our local schools have met or exceeded the five calamity days that are allowable by state law. In fact, Tuesday's early-morning sub-zero temperatures forced the closure of schools for the second day this week.
For East Liverpool, it's the seventh time a school day has been canceled, meaning two days for the district to make up - whether that be eliminating a scheduled break that's already within the school calendar or extending the school year beyond the May 23 final day.
Wellsville has one day to make up, while Beaver Local's next cancellation will result in an extra day.
We support our school officials in their decisions to cancel school based on the safety of our children - their students. We don't want our children standing at the bus stop in sub-zero temperatures, and we don't want our children on busses when the roadways are considered hazardous.
It makes sense to close.
Kasich's one-time increase, and he only is suggesting "a few days," must be approved by the Ohio General Assembly and the Ohio Department of Education.
Extending the school year, he says, can "wreak havoc with schools' budgets and schedules," therefore that's why he's calling for this one-time addition.
Next year a new system will be put in place, replacing school days with instructional hours. Many officials seem to believe it will allow for more freedom when it comes to closing school when needed.
But for now, we urge state officials to increase the calamity days as to allow for perhaps an easier school year.