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Section 101 of the State School Aid Act (MCL 388.1701) remains the same as FY 2020 with regard to the cancellation of instructional time. The language continues to grant districts six (6) days and/or the equivalent number of hours to use toward cancellations that occur due to conditions beyond the control of school authorities, commonly referred to as “forgiven time” or “snow days.” Language remains that grants the State Superintendent the authority to grant up to three (3) additional days or equivalent hours cancelled as instruction, provided the cancellation is due to unusual and extenuating circumstances resulting from conditions not within the control of school authorities.
For 2020-21, however, new language in Section 101(13) provides greater flexibility around determining how much instructional time was scheduled and provided by basing those calculations on instructional content rather than a traditional calendar and bell schedule. Due to this, MDE believes that few districts, if any, will need to use forgiven time during the 2020-21 school year unless the amount of content that the scheduled courses would deliver was altered by a cancellation.
A district that wishes to request additional forgiven time must provide strong rationale supporting why these days cannot be rescheduled before the end of the school year.