If it wasn’t bad enough having to deal with a full blown pandemic for almost two years, Connecticut schools are now facing a new challenge with staff shortages associated with the pandemic.
The pandemic was one thing with most schools opting for at home learning. But when there is a shortage of teaching professionals, there’s no learning anywhere, at home or in the classroom, and that’s what’s got lawmakers the most concerned.
So in order to come up with some type of a solution in the event of a sudden spike in teacher or student illness, State Lawmakers are now considering waiving the 180 school day requirement since COVID-19 has forced many teachers and students as well to miss school time.
State law here in Connecticut requires that students must be in the classroom for a minimum of 180 days, but now the current new proposal would be to cut that number back by five days in order to have a little wiggle room.
According to ctinsider.com, the proposed change in the 180-day requirement would only be applicable for the current 2021-2022 school year and not become a permanent legislation.
Due to the COVID pandemic, local school superintendents and boards of education in some Connecticut towns have expressed concerns about having to extend the school year in order to get all the required days in. Their main concern is to have to extend the school year into early July, and that would mean students in the classroom when it’s very hot, and citing the fact that many of the schools in Connecticut are not equipped to handle that because most of the schools do not have air conditioning.
The article also stated that Patrice McCarthy, Deputy Director and General Council for the Connecticut Association Of Boards of Education wants the districts to have the flexibility for something that is totally out of their control, and realizes that this one time proposal would be extremely helpful for school teachers, staff, and students as well.
This would not be the first time this requirement has been waived since the outbreak of COVID-19. It’s happened early in the pandemic when Governor Ned Lamont used executive order in March of 2020 to cut the school year back to 177 days, and again for the 2020-2021 school year with the extra three days being used for COVID-19 safety training.
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