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Some school districts seek waiver because of snow/cold days

UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News)  State law requires public schools to be in session for 180 days a year -- but some school officials say the mandate should be waived due to Wisconsin's coldest weather since 1996. State officials say there's almost no chance of that happening. Most Wisconsin schools are closed for a second straight day -- and at least some have used up their allotments of snow days they budget each year. It means they'll have to add at least one day to end of their school years in June.

Menomonee Falls is among them. Superintendent Pat Greco says it's one thing to plan for snow each winter, but the historic cold justifies an exception to the 180-day class requirement. She said there's at least some interest among superintendents in southeast Wisconsin to ask for a two-day waiver. But John Johnson of the Department of Public Instruction says schools have faced these types of problems a number of times before -- and it's no different this time.

It was no problem until about 15 years ago, when schools were forced to wait until after Labor Day to open their fall classes so tourist businesses could keep their teenage workers. That stretched the end of the school year from before Memorial Day to as late as mid-June. It's supposed to be a few degrees warmer tomorrow -- and many school officials say they'll re-open then.