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Do Kids Get More Snow Days Now? Not Necessarily

COLUMBUS (Ben Garbarek) -- Do kids have it easier nowadays?  Many people seem to think so after a string of days off of school because of the winter weather.

Nearly every time school gets called off, you'll hear someone say, "they would have never cancelled school for this much snow when I was a kid."  Education experts said that's not necessarily true.

Experts said the rules for when to call off school have not changed since 1987.

"The law has been that way for a long time," said Crystal Davis with the Ohio School Boards Association.  "No one has complained so much until now.  Superintendents have to consider how long those students are going to be out there."

There's legislation being considered that could change the way calamity days are used.  Right now schools get five days, but soon that could turn into a set number of hours to use instead.

There is no set amount of snow or low temperature that decides when school is called off.  According to state law, it's up to superintendents to decide if it's safe to go to school.

This year has been unusual though because of the number of calamity days from frigid temperatures.

"There was the concern, 'well it seems that it's bitterly cold, so why are they canceling school when there isn't a ton of snow?'" Davis said.  "(Superintendents) have to worry about the safety of the children."

This is not even close to the worst winter in Ohio.  The Ohio School Boards Association said twenty calamity days were used in many parts of the state during the 1976-77 school year because of snow and a gas shortage.

 
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