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Maryland school districts could soon be allowed to extend year past June 15 under General Assembly bill

A BGE Home vehicle heads up North Hickory Avenue in Bel Air during an early spring snow storm.
A BGE Home vehicle heads up North Hickory Avenue in Bel Air during an early spring snow storm. (David Anderson/The Aegis / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

The Maryland General Assembly is on the verge of passing a bill that would allow school districts to extend their school years without state approval to account for snow days.

The House passed a bill this week, previously approved by the Senate, allowing local school boards to extend their calendars by as many as five days beyond June 15 without the State Board of Education’s approval. Because the House amended the measure to declare it an emergency bill, the legislation must go back to the Senate for final approval next week.

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Sen. Nancy King, the bill’s sponsor, said the Senate is expected to accept the amendment and send the bill to Gov. Larry Hogan, whose spokesman said he will sign the measure.

The law now says the school year must end by June 15. But some school districts have reported that since Hogan issued an executive order requiring that schools open after Labor Day, they have had a hard time meeting the legal minimum of 180 instructional days before the middle of June.

State school board refuses to give Baltimore City schools a waiver to reduce number of school days, says city needs to add one more school day to calendar this year.

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