State Sen. Robert Ortt, R-C-I-North Tonawanda, is calling on the New York State Education Department to enforce a level playing field for all school districts during an extreme weather event.
The senator is drafting legislation to help alleviate inconsistencies. Ortt is proposing the SED takes a proactive approach for students who miss Regents exams due to inclement weather and adopt a permanent solution rather than enforcing a "one-time exception."
The New York State Board of Regents recently announced those who missed state exams due to downstate's snowstorm would be able to make them up if affected districts submitted a plan for administering and securing the exams.
That same leeway, however, was not extended to districts in Western New York during last year's polar vortex. Instead, students who missed state exams had to wait until June to retake tests, causing an interruption in their studies.
"Making students wait several months for a make-up exam was not only an inconvenience to many who planned on graduating in January, but also caused them to lose focus," Ortt said. "While I applaud the SED's recent decision, we need to ensure all school districts are afforded that same opportunity."
Ortt shared his concerns in a letter to the New York State Board of Regents.