Gov. Ralph DLG. Torres has signed into law a Senate bill that clarifies that the State Board of Education has the authority to establish and amend the minimum instructional time for the Public School System.
Torres informed the Legislature that he has signed Senate Bill 22-21 into Public Law 22-02.
Senate President Jude U. Hofschneider is the author of the legislation.
The new law repeals and reenacts a Commonwealth Code to clarify that the BOE has the authority to establish, maintain, amend or modify, as necessary, the instructional calendar or minimum instructional time for kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, and high school students at PSS in order to improve student overall performance and achievement.
With the signing of the bill into law, BOE shall establish and maintain within each school year an instructional calendar of no less than 180 days of instruction for students from kindergarten through the 12th grade, exclusive of weekends, holidays, and emergency school closings authorized by the PSS commissioner, provided that the Board of Education, in consultation with the commissioner, may reduce the instructional calendar applicable to each school, in the event of an emergency declaration or natural disaster.
The Senate committee’s report determined that, without an immediate amendment to rectify the provisions of Public Law 20-48, PSS will continue to face complications in resolving the educational needs of the students in line with the guidance and support of its federal partners.