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Snow day legislation advances in Lansing

ALPENA — The Michigan House on Wednesday approved a bill that would forgive snow days called by schools during a state-declared emergency at the end of January.

The House approved the bill 101-7. It now goes to the Senate for consideration before it can advance to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for her approval.

Whitmer declared an emergency during a five-day period from Jan. 28 to Feb. 1, when an arctic freeze hit the state. Under the bill, those five days would not count against schools’ required instruction time.

The bill would be a big boon to Northeast Michigan districts, who were out of school for much of February.

Alpena Public Schools has had 19 snow days this school year, with six of those being forgiven already through existing state law and three additional days forgiven through a standard Michigan Department of Education waiver.

The district added school on Friday, which would have been a day off, to make up lost time.

If the five days are approved by the House, Senate, and Whitmer, Alpena would have to make up only four additional days in June.