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Governor Walz: Schools won't be penalized if they don't make up for days lost to cold

State law requires 165 days of instruction.

Students might've been disappointed that Governor Tim Walz didn't order schools closed during this brutal cold spell, but he's doing the next best thing by guaranteeing that school districts won't be penalized if they don't reach the state's minimum days of instruction requirement. 

Minnesota law requires schools to have at least 165 days of instruction per school year for students grades 1-11, unless a four-day week schedule is in place. 

Even with many schools missing three or four days this week due to snow Monday and historic cold Tuesday-Thursday, a spokesperson for Gov. Walz told BMTN it's "unlikely" that most districts will be in danger of going under the 165-day statute.

But in the event that a school district doesn't meet the threshold because of this week's frigid conditions – and doesn't extend the school term to make up for it – they'll have the support of Gov. Walz. 

"The Governor has assured local school districts that they will not be penalized for keeping their students safe," a spokesperson said. 

Walz has been in contact with the Department of Education regarding the potential issue, the spokesperson added. 

Some districts also have the ability to provide students with online learning days in place of in-school instruction, but no more than five such days are allowed per school year. 

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