In a recent memorandum, the Michigan Department of Education suggested school districts may not want to assume they will be granted “snow‑day waivers” under certain circumstances. MDE noted that the State School Aid Act grants schools the right to cancel up to six (6) days of instructional time for conditions beyond the district’s control – severe storms, fires, health conditions, etc. – which constitutes “forgiven time.” An additional three (3) days of “forgiven time” may be granted upon request, subject to the approval of the State Superintendent, as “snow‑day waivers.”
Recent changes to the State School Aid Act provide that school districts may count up to 38 hours of professional development toward the 1,098 hours of pupil instruction required by law (for more information, please see Lusk Albertson’s previous article on the topic.) While recognizing this statutory right, MDE emphasized the importance of instructional time to student learning. In its memorandum, MDE explained, “Districts utilizing options such as professional development to reduce instructional time requirements are less likely to receive approval . . . for additional forgiven time.” As always, additional “forgiven time” requests will be treated on a case‑by‑case basis.
The memorandum may be accessed here.