Plenty of teachers, parents and other school employees are eagerly waiting to hear whether Gov. Pat McCrory can provide a waiver to help school districts avoid cutting into spring break or holding Saturday school to make up for last week's snow closings.
|McCrory in emergency mode Friday|
But can the governor do it? "I do not know," Jeter said.
If that decision rests with the General Assembly, the timing could be tough. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and other districts facing shortened spring breaks have those makeup days scheduled in April. The legislature convenes May 14.
Update: State Rep. Ruth Samuelson, a Mecklenburg Republican, called after a Monday afternoon meeting with House Speaker Thom Tillis, where legislators discussed ways to "tweak" the plan to allow more flexibility. She said the consensus was that most districts already have the leeway they need if they focus on meeting the minimum 1,025 hours of instruction, rather than counting days.
The makeup-day hullabaloo illustrates how different discussions can be when an issue is immediate, rather than abstract. Invite people to spend time pondering all the limits and trade-offs that come with the state calendar law, and most say "no thanks." Put the plan that's approved by those who do care into effect, and boy, do people have better ideas.
Likewise, no politician wants to call for reducing the time kids are required to spend in class ... unless the alternative is a makeup schedule that people hate. Then the person who saves spring break may look like a hero.
After spending two snowy days reporting on the scheduling dilemma and reading lots of opinions on social media, I had pretty much decided that scrapping a couple of makeup days -- either through state waiver or tallying classroom hours instead of days -- was the only option that wouldn't make anyone mad. But I'm not sure that's true. People like bus drivers and teacher assistants, who tend to need their whole paycheck, lose hours and money when schools close. Eliminate the makeup days and you eliminate their chance to make up the wages.
There's just no such thing as a popular weather decision.