"A lot of schools are hurting on days. It's backing into summer school, specifically," said Rep. B.J. Marsh, R-Springfield, the sponsor of House Bill 678. He said he expects the bill to pass from the House floor this week.
Under the language of the bill, any school districts that is in the counties that were considered a disaster area between Jan. 15 and Jan. 22 would not have to make up days missed during that time. The bill also includes school districts that were not included in the disaster area, but canceled eight or more school days this school year.
Boone County was one of the disaster area counties. Lynn Barnett, Superintendent of Columbia Public Schools, said this would restore two school days that Columbia Schools lost, Jan. 16 and 17.
"If in fact this was passed, we'd have to change our calendar," Barnett said, but she added: "It's not going to make a significant difference."
Columbia Schools canceled class five times this school year. However, the district also has four snow days worked into the calendar. If Marsh's bill does not become law, the Columbia school year would be extended to June 6.
Barnett said schools in Missouri are required to have students in class 174 days a year to receive full state funding, but this bill would change that requirement for this year.
"The more you can have kids in schools, the better," she said.
Even Chuck Stockton, assistant superintendent of Springfield Public Schools, one of the districts for which this bill was created, said this would not affect the school. His district missed all the days identified in this bill during the ice storms, and they were all covered by the snow days that were built into the school year's schedule.
Marsh said many school districts in southern Missouri have missed numerous days and said he hasn't heard any opposition for this bill.
"I wouldn't think there wouldn't be because it's up to each school district and it's up local control," Marsh said. "I just hope we mow this out this week."
Marsh said that some senators an interested in sponsoring a similar bill in the Senate.
House Bill 678, if passed, would: