Minnesota schools may seek reprieve for cancelled classes

Kip Cartney is engulfed in blowing snow as he clears the sidewalk near his home as snow falls Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019, in Rochester, Minn. (Joe Ahlquist/The Rochester Post-Bulletin via AP)

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota education officials and lobbyists are surveying districts to decide whether to ask lawmakers for a shorter school year after severe winter weather forced many to cancel classes.

The Twin Cities Pioneer Press reports that the Minnesota Department of Education and lobbying groups are seeking information about how the last two weeks of extreme cold and snow have affected class time totals. A number of districts could fall short of the state requirement for schools to be in session unless they schedule makeup days or add time to remaining days.

Department spokesman Josh Collins says the agency will determine whether legislation is necessary once they have a clearer picture of the situation.

A spokesman for Gov. Tim Walz has assured districts that they won’t be punished for keeping students safe.

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