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Most school districts out of snow days

Posted at 6:20 PM, Mar 04, 2019

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WKBW) — At this point in the school year, many school districts in Western New York have used all available snow days.

Students need to be in school 180 days out of the school year for a district to receive state funding. Mark Laurrie is the superintendent of the Niagara Falls School District. He says Niagara Falls has used all its snow day, and has started dipping in to vacation days.

"There are vacation days to use which would get us to the 180 days," he said.

Last week, destructive winds tore through Western New York, forcing many schools to close. Governor Andrew Cuomo sent out a statement saying schools would not be penalized if they were out of snow days and had to close, and this created massive confusion among school superintendents.

"When we first heard it was like 'oh this is a day we don't have to replace because we made the decision to close'," he said.

Districts budget for a certain amount of snow days each year. If they use all days, they dip into vacation days. If a district uses all vacation days, it can apply for an extraordinary circumstance waiver, to get them to 180 school days.

Niagara Falls says it was unclear whether the wind day would be a free day or not, but Cuomo's office later clarified saying:

"This administration and NYSED have agreed extraordinary condition waivers will be granted in cases where there are insufficient available remaining school and vacation days."

This still means all vacation days would need to be used first.