Should the School Year Be Reduced to 170 Days?

Commack School District says it is awaiting word on proposed legislation that would lower educational requirement from 180 to 170 school days.


Commack students rejoiced when Hurricane Sandy closed schools for a day or two, but will they feel the same as school officials look to make up lost time. 

Commack School Districts were closed for a full week in the wake of Hurricane Sandy's destruction, causing downed trees and massive power outages throughout the town. The students lost an addition day on Nov. 8 after the nor`easter swept across Long Island. 

Due to these school closings, Commack school officials admitted the district will fall short of the 180 days of education required to meet state requirement. 

There is legislation pending that may provide a solution. 

The district issues a statement on its website

 [T]here is pending legislation that would lower the requirement to 170 days for districts in need. Once we are made aware of the dispensation of said legislation, we will be better able to address calendar concerns. 

State education law requires a minimum of 180 school days per school year, though the state education commissioner is authorized to excuse at most five days for extraordinary circumstances if those days could not be made up by using scheduled vacation days as make-up days. According to a memo published on the state education department's website:

The following are circumstances that may be approved by the Commissioner as extraordinary conditions:  extraordinarily adverse weather conditions, an impairment of heating facilities, an insufficient water supply, a fuel shortage, a lack of electricity, a natural gas leak, unacceptable levels of chemical substances, or the destruction of a school building.

According to the state education department, a declaration of a state of emergency by the governor does not automatically mean school districts can hold fewer than 180 school days. School districts must meet the 180-day requirement in order to be eligible for state funding.

In 2011, the state legislature passed a resolution allowing school districts to be considered for an exception to the 180-day rule of up to 10 days instead of five due to extreme weather conditions such as tropical storm Irene in August of last year.

A state education department representative said Friday that a similar bill has been filed in the state legislature for this school year.

Do you think the school year should be shortened from 180 days to 170 days? Or should students make up the days by losing time from scheduled vacations? Tell us in the comments below. 

GLENN November 24, 2012 at 05:29 PM
paul...great idea Vince can pay them.
GLENN November 24, 2012 at 05:37 PM
But Ken, it's for the children, you must vote yes and give more, for the CHILDREN. Commack can't wake up they are too busy asking for donations, class money and more $$ for the budget, that is all the Commack schools do FUND RAISE! Since the start of this school year, we have had more request for donations, clothes,coats, gift cards, money toys and it never stops. Commack is no longer a school diet. it is a fund raising money making district. I asked what they spend the box top money on ( this year so far they collected around $1,350) ?I got no answers YET!
John Gruber November 24, 2012 at 05:44 PM
First of all, for those not wanting to pay the teachers, they make a salary, YOU wouldn't want to be paid any less if your office lost power for 10 days and you couldn't work. While we're at it Team Owners shouldn't pay athletes for games that are canceled, regardless of the fact if they were there ready to do their job...they don't control the fact if they work or not and their salaries shouldn't suffer because of freak storms, regardless if you think they're overpaid already (which I think they kind of are). Also, I've never heard of 8-10 school days in October affecting exams being taken in May and June...
John Gruber November 24, 2012 at 05:46 PM
2 extra weeks without power and heat, I guess those teachers are just spoiled....
Marlene November 25, 2012 at 12:34 AM
Annmarie, I hope your not someday a person who needs anything that Fund Raisers provide!


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