180 Days vs. 1080 Hours - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

180 Days vs. 1080 Hours

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When Iowa passed education reform last Spring, many different bills were rolled into a vote.

Now, a measure on what constitutes a day at school, is causing some confusion.

When the Education Reform Bill was passed, the Iowa Board of Education wanted to give districts a choice:

Have kids go to school for 180 days, or for 1,080 hours. 

If we do the math, that shouldn't change much for school districts. 

Six hours a day, times 180 days, will equal the 1,080 hours. 

But when the law was passed - the legislation tacked on a section about early outs....saying if schools stay with the 180 day calendar - kids will have to be in school for a full six hours for the day for it to count.
If they get out early for a weather event - that "day" doesn't count.

And that's causing problems for local districts.

"I would say at this time, based on the legislation that is currently in place, the hours approach appears to me to be the most flexible," says Bettendorf Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte. 

But it's a decision that doesn't comes without consequences.

Teacher contracts are still based on total days they work - not hours.

"How much time beyond 1,080 student contact hours do we need built in, in order to avoid adding significant time on at the end?"

A question causing a major concerns for superintendents.. 

"For our district to add a day that wasn't contracted is about $85,000/ day," Schutte explains.

But in the end - he says the legislation needs to change to give districts a better choice.


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