2006 Louisiana Laws - RS 17:154.1 — Length of school day and year; requirements

§154.1.  Length of school day and year; requirements

A.(1)  The minimum school day for grades one through twelve in every public school in the state shall consist of three hundred sixty minutes of instructional time, exclusive of all recesses.  The minimum school year shall consist of one hundred seventy-seven days of instruction.  However, in order to provide teacher training, provide for the safety and well-being of students, or implement other educational reform efforts, any governing authority of a public elementary or secondary school may authorize some or all of its schools to modify the total number of instructional minutes per day and instructional days per year as long as the total number of instructional minutes per year is no less than the minimum number of instructional minutes per day multiplied by the minimum number of instructional days as required by this Section.

(2)  Each governing authority of a public elementary or secondary school shall adopt policies which require its elementary schools to dedicate any instructional time beyond that offered during the 1997-1998 school year to the study of those subjects for which content standards have been adopted by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, with specific emphasis in the lower grades on teaching mathematics and reading or language arts.  Each governing authority of a public elementary or secondary school shall encourage, to the extent possible, the secondary schools in its system to utilize such additional instructional time for similar purposes.

(3)  Effective for the 2002-2003 school year and thereafter, the provisions of Paragraph (1) of this Subsection shall not be applicable to any city, parish, or other local public school or school system which cannot meet the minimum requirements for instructional time as provided in Paragraph (1) of this Subsection for any given school year  due to school closure, when such school closure occurs within the last thirty calendar days of the school year, for reasons of natural catastrophe or disaster as certified by the state superintendent of education and approved by the State Board of Elementary and Education.  Such certification and approval shall be in accordance with criteria established pursuant to rules and regulations adopted by the board for such purpose.  Such rules and regulations shall include but shall not be limited to a requirement that any city, parish, or other local public school or school system not able to meet the requirements of Paragraph (1) of this Subsection shall submit to the state superintendent of education in accordance with time lines established by the board documented information explaining the reasons why such school or school system cannot meet such requirements and any efforts made by the school or school system toward meeting the requirements.  The provisions of this Paragraph shall apply to an entire school system only if every school within the system is forced to close for reasons as provided in this Paragraph.

(4)  Effective for the 2002-2003 school year, the provisions of Paragraph (1) of this Subsection shall not be applicable to any city, parish, or other local public school system in any parish having a population of at least four hundred seventy-five thousand persons according to the latest federal decennial census and which for the 2002-2003 school year cannot meet the specified minimum requirements for instructional time due to the school system, pursuant to school board action, providing professional development activities during the school day for teachers in every school in the system and the reduced instructional time does not exceed one hundred eighty minutes.

(5)(a)  Effective for the 2005-2006 school year, the provisions of Paragraph (1) of this Subsection shall not be applicable to any city, parish, or other local public school or school system which cannot meet the minimum requirements for instructional time as provided in Paragraph (1) of this Subsection for the 2005-2006 school year due to school closure for reasons of natural catastrophe or disaster as certified by the state superintendent of education and approved by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

(b)  Such certification and approval shall be in accordance with criteria established pursuant to rules and regulations adopted by the board for such purpose.  Such rules and regulations shall include but shall not be limited to requirements that:

(i)  Any city, parish, or other local public school or school system not able to meet the requirements of Paragraph (1) of this Subsection shall submit to the state superintendent of education, in accordance with time lines established by the board, documented information explaining the reasons why such school or school system cannot meet such requirements and any efforts made by the school or school system toward meeting the requirements and a revised school calendar for the 2005-2006 school year.

(ii)  Schools and school systems subject to such certification and approval comply with the revised school calendar submitted to the state superintendent and any changes in such calendar that the board may require.

(c)  The provisions of this Paragraph shall apply to an entire school system only if every school within the system is forced to close for reasons as provided in this Paragraph.

B.  With the authorization of the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, the local school superintendent shall have the authority to dismiss any or all schools in his system due to emergency situations as defined by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education in accordance with rules and regulations of the board which the board shall adopt as provided in the Administrative Procedure Act.  Nothing herein shall be construed to allow a school year to be less than one hundred seventy-seven days of instruction, except as provided in Subsection A of this Section.

Acts 1985, No. 92, §1, eff. June 29, 1985; Acts 1986, No. 264, §1, eff. June 30, 1986; H.C.R. No. 174, 1995 R.S.; Acts 1998, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 160, §1, eff. July 1, 1998; Acts 2001, No. 815, §1; H.C.R. No. 1, 2003 R.S.; Acts 2003, No. 915, §1, eff. July 1, 2003; Acts 2005, No. 25, §1, eff. Nov. 29, 2005.


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