Suetterlein Bill Meant to Provide More Flexibility for Schools, Not Kill Snow Days

Jan 15, 2021

After the pandemic is over, schools across Virginia might end up continuing some version of virtual education.

The end of the pandemic might not be the end of remote learning in schools across Virginia. Lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow school divisions to have unscheduled remote learning days.

"We've already heard Senate Bill 1132 referred to as the killer of snow day dreams. That simply is not the case," says Alan Seibert, superintendent of Salem City Schools.

State Senator David Suetterlein
Credit Senate of Virginia

"This bill is not about taking away snow days. It's about empowering communities to use tools and methods forged in the pandemic to provide flexibility in the future," he explains.

Senator Chap Petersen says remote learning needs boundaries.

"This is creating a precedent that it may just give a blank check to local school divisions to not open," Petersen says.

Senator David Suetterlein, who introduced the bill, says it's only about unscheduled remote learning days.

"It is not for the next six weeks we're just not going to school. It’s specifically unscheduled," Suetterlein explains.

The bill has already passed a Senate committee, and it's on its way to the Senate floor.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.