Proposal to count school year in hours

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Next year classes could be starting a little earlier in the year if a resolution proposed by the New York Education Commissioner gets passed.

“This gives them more flexibility,” MaryEllen, State Education Commissioner, said.

Currently, the law requires for schools to be open for 180 days, but that could soon be changing. Spearheaded by Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia, a new proposal would allow for school years to be counted in hours rather than days.

“It is 900 hours of instructional time for K-6 and for 7-12 it is 990 hours.”

The commissioner says that a big reason behind this proposal is to allow schools to create a schedule that fits the different needs of their districts, whether that be acknowledging more religious holidays or even snow days.

“When we have emergency days for some sort of crisis that occurs in the state, all of those things affect whether schools are open and so they become a challenge for many districts.”

This new proposal would allow schools to count half days as instructional hours and even start earlier than the mandated September 1st date.

The proposal will be in review for the next 60 days.

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