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Pa. Senate Vote Expected On Snow Day Relief, House Not So Sure

The Capitol Building in Pennsylvania's capital Harrisburg. (Credit: MLADEN ANTONOV/ AFP/ Getty Images)

The Capitol Building in Pennsylvania’s capital Harrisburg. (Credit: MLADEN ANTONOV/ AFP/ Getty Images)

(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) — The Pennsylvania Senate this week is expected to vote on a bill to give relief to school districts struggling to make up school days lost to ice and snow, but House leaders say legislation may not be necessary.

State law requires each year 180 days of school and 900 hours of instruction for elementary students, 990 hours for secondary.

Erik Arneson, spokesman for the state Senate majority leader, says there’s a bill ready for a vote that would clarify that school districts could meet their obligation by counting hours instead of days.

“Make it crystal clear in the law that this flexibility exists for schools,” Arneson says.

But Steve Miskin, spokesman for the House majority leader, says leaders in that chamber believe the flexibility already exists.

“They have to check with the Department of Education and get permission back, but you know, that’s just a formality,” Miskin says.

The Senate bill would also allow for one Saturday of instruction per month to make up days, but Miskin says it’s not clear if the House will take up the Senate bill.

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