Remote schooling means snow days could become optional in NJ

Many New Jersey children may soon have to experience snow days from the inside looking out if some state lawmakers on both sides of the aisle get their way.

Legislation before the state would give school districts the option of using snow days during inclement weather. But if the districts choose not to take a snow day, then the day away from the physical school building would be a remote learning day and it would count toward the state's 180-day education requirement.

There's no denying that the unfettered joy of waking up to word of a snow day is a rite of passage for many kids. Their good fortune is rewarded after wearing their pajamas inside out or backward, putting a spoon under their pillow or a white crayon in the fridge.

Many parents at Edgemont Elementary in Montclair told FOX 5 NY that taking that away affects the whole family, not to mention the teachers who also need a day.

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State Sen. Nicholas Sacco supports the measure. He said the bill is being pushed by the superintendents association — New Jersey Association of School Administrators — but it provides some much-needed stability in everyone's lives.

"They want flexibility with their schedules," Sacco said. "It's happened too many times where the year has been disrupted, where schools have had to cancel spring break, even talk about going on weekends."

This type of bill is called permissive legislation. That means a school district doesn't have to follow the legislation, if it becomes law, if officials aren't equipped to or if they don't want to. 

It isn't yet clear when the legislation could pass or how quickly it would take effect.

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