While North Carolina lawmakers may not be planning to return for a special session this year, state legislators say they will nonetheless push for calendar waivers for schools battered by Hurricane Matthew, WRAL is reporting.
The news comes as some flooded eastern North Carolina districts rebuild after Matthew’s soaking rains.
State law requires that schools operate 180 days a year, and some storm-wracked school systems have talked of being forced to extend school days in order to meet the requirement. But that may not be necessary.
Top House lawmakers say they want to give school districts affected by Hurricane Matthew relief from the requirement they operate for 180 days per year.
“This is essentially giving flexibility back to the local school districts,” Rep. Gregory Murphy, R-Pitt, said during a news conference Monday.
Schools closed in the aftermath of Matthew for a variety of reasons. Flooded roads, for example, made it impossible for some students to get to school.
“You also have schools that were damaged,” House Speaker Tim Moore said, pointing to two schools in Robeson County that were damaged by flood waters.
At this point, Moore said he does not anticipate lawmakers will return for a special session on the hurricane this fall. The General Assembly is scheduled to come back to session in January. Any change would not be certain until it was passed by the legislature and signed into law.
The House lawmakers’ proposal would create a one-time amendment to the state’s school calendar law. Districts that had to close due to flooding would be able to apply to the Department of Public Instruction for a waiver.