Leniency for disasters

Christian Boutwell / Manship School News Service

BATON ROUGE -- House Bill 20, a constitutional amendment by Rep. Ed Price, D-Gonzales, that would give schools adversely affected by a natural disaster some potential leeway with state requirements unanimously passed the House Wednesday and moved to the Senate.

The bill provides leniency — beginning this school year — to any public school unable to complete the instructional time and days of attendance mandated by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) because of a natural disaster.

Currently, Louisiana requires public schools to provide a minimum 360 minutes of instructional time per day over 177 days of instruction in order to be promoted to the next grade or to receive a certified graduation.

Voters would need to give it a two-thirds majority for it to be enacted. BESE would be authorized under HB20 to adjust the requirements if less than normal because of closures or other problems caused by such things as floods, hurricanes or tornados.