Seattle Public Schools says it would not be financially responsible to make up two days it canceled earlier this month during the region’s first major snowstorm of the year.
District officials announced Monday that they have requested a waiver from the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction about making up the days, which they say will cost about $500,000 in transportation and nutrition costs.
“This is a difficult decision but we want our students to be in class learning,” spokeswoman Lesley Rogers said. “But given our challenging budget year — adding those two days looks like it would cost about a half million dollars.”
The Tacoma school district is also seeking a waiver, according to the Tacoma News-Tribune.
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But acceptance of the waiver request is not guaranteed.
The request’s fate hinges on interpretation of Gov. Chris Gregoire’s winter storm emergency proclamation, said Nathan Olson, a spokesman for the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. The governor is currently conducting damage assessments and will later offer more details on the impact of the proclamation.
A decision could take weeks, Olson said.
If the waiver is not granted, Seattle Public Schools would make up the days at end of the school year.
In all, the winter storm caused three days of school cancellations. One day has already been made up.
The storm also prompted a school day that started two hours late and ended at least two hours early. Seattle Public Schools announced Monday that time won’t be made up.
Some Seattle parents expressed frustration at the missed instructional time.
A 2007 study by two University of Maryland researchers found that the percent of third-grade students passing math and reading tests falls by more than one-half percent for each canceled school day.