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New law gives Texas school districts more flexibility when it comes to instruction time

School districts across Texas may have a bit more flexibility now when it comes to allowing students a few more days off during the year.

A new state law requires students to attend school for 75-thousand-6-hundred minutes per year, instead of 180 days.

The change from days to minutes means that districts could add a few more minutes to regular school days. Adding those minutes could mean more days off for students and staff, or a shorter school year.

Jim Littlejohn, chief academic officer for the Clint district, told ABC-7 that an analysis of their districts current calendar for this school year shows that they are way above the 75,600 minutes.

He went onto say that for the next school year Clint district could go anywhere from 170 to 174 days and still meet the new requirement so it could mean a possible shortened school year for the district.

Little john believes that a shorter school year has pro’s,

“I think a lot of parents may enjoy it especially since they start their vacations in June”

And con’s as well,

“Well you’re shortening instructional days so the students may not be learning everything they need to learn.”

While the Clint district plans on shortening the school year. SISD plans to save its extra minutes for a rainy day.

Alica Zapata, Chief Academic Officer for SISD told ABC-7 that their district would rather use their extra minutes for days when the city has to deal with intense weather. Instead of having to worry about making up days, they have enough minutes to give their students days off for those severe weather days.

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