Governor Robert Bentley on Tuesday returned House Bill 360 to the Alabama Legislature with an executive amendment that increases flexibility for local school systems.
The executive amendment gives school systems the choice of opting out of new school calendar guidelines established by HB 360. At the same time, the amendment allows schools to enjoy the flexibility measures detailed in the bill.
"I believe local school systems know what's best for the students they serve, and I believe local school boards should be able to establish their own school calendars," Governor Bentley said. "If a local system determines that the new calendar guidelines are not in the best interest of local students, my amendment would give that system the ability to provide notice to the State Superintendent of Education and opt out of those guidelines."
Governor Bentley supports flexibility measures that are included in HB 360. Those measures include the ability for local school systems to adjust the days or extend the hours set aside for teaching and instructional time. Such flexibility could greatly help systems amend their school calendars in situations such as making up weather days.
"The flexibility component of this bill can be very valuable for local school systems as they meet the needs of the students they serve," Governor Bentley said. "Let me be clear -- the intent of the bill regarding the school calendar is good, but I also want to make sure systems have the local control they need. With approval of my amendment, we can emerge with a bill that gives systems greater flexibility than they've had before."
Members of the Legislature will now consider the amended version of the legislation.