FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Arkansas LEARNS Act was passed in March of this year, and one part of it might bring changes for students this winter.
According to a letter of opinion from Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin, alternative methods of instruction or AMI days probably won’t count towards the minimum required amount.
If that’s the case, this will leave it open for schools to choose for work-free snow days and emergencies.
Republican Representative Julie Mayberry said the LEARNS Act never mentions alternative methods of instruction or AMI days. So, she asked Griffin for an opinion on whether schools can still use virtual learning.
Griffin said he doesn’t believe AMI days will count as school days.
According to the LEARNS Act, schools must be open in person for a minimum of 178 days or 1,068 hours. That’s in order to receive funding from the state. This means some schools might be putting an end to AMI days and allowing snow days, where students don’t have to bring work home.
Representative Mayberry said she hopes the legislature will consider adjusting the law.
“I do believe that Ami days created flexibility for school districts. It allowed parents to be more prepared if they know the night before that there’s not going to be school the next day, they can make arrangements easier. It keeps our children safer at home,” said Mayberry.
Cody Yancey, a parent of a third grader and kindergartner, says he feels this could leave parents with mixed feelings.
“You know, it’s difficult to find out who’s going to take care of the kid on those days off. And with the new change to not having my days and just traditional snow days, that might mean more days at school or more days at home. And it’s difficult for each family to juggle what works for them,” said Yancey.
KNWA/FOX24 reached out to the spokesperson for Fayetteville Public Schools about this issue. He says AMI days are on the agenda to be discussed at Monday’s cabinet meeting.