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WV Senate OKs bill affecting school calendars

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia’s Senate approved Wednesday a bill that would end a requirement — which the governor has supported in the past — for a minimum of 180 separate instructional days for K-12 schools, even when they miss many days due to snow.

House Bill 4171, which passed the Senate with no amendments after the House voted 94-5 for it late last month, would also bar traditional calendar schools from having students start before Aug. 10 or leave after June 10. Only senators Corey Palumbo, D-Kanawha, and Douglas Facemire, D-Braxton, voted against the bill in the Senate.

State Department of Education spokeswoman Kristin Anderson said Greenbrier County, which started school Aug. 6, and Wayne County, which started school Aug. 7, were the only school systems that started before Aug. 10 this school year.

She also noted the early start date is important to Greenbrier, which after starting school lets students out for a week for the State Fair of West Virginia. The event is held there annually near the start of the school year. Kanawha’s already approved calendar for next school year would have students return Aug. 8. Students came back Aug. 10 this school year. With the Senate voting to make the bill effective from passage, and with the House voting to make it effective July 1, it’s currently yet to be determined what counties may do with their current and upcoming calendars…

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