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Will Pa. Schools Get Reprieve From Snow Make-Up Days? Time Will Tell.

(credit: Mike DeNardo)

(credit: Mike DeNardo)

(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — There are no plans, for now at least, to give relief to school districts across the state struggling, due to a winter of relentless bad weather, to meet the state’s 180-day schooling requirement.

Pennsylvania law requires schools to hold 180 days of classes each academic year.  That must include 900 hours of instruction for elementary students and 990 hours for secondary students.

Tim Eller, a spokesman for the Department of Education, says the secretary does have some latitude to allow districts to hold some Saturday sessions for graduating seniors.  Otherwise, he says, only the legislature can grant relief — and the last time it did that was almost twenty years ago.

Eller says the education secretary may make a recommendation — but not for a while.

“She’s not going to move forward until at least the winter season passes. We still have several weeks of winter left,” Eller notes.

Spokesmen for the majority leaders of both the state House and Senate say there has been no discussion yet about relief from the 180-day rule.