MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Gov. Tim Walz says school districts will not be penalized at the end of the year for keeping their students at home during this historical bitter blast.

Thursday marks the fourth consecutive day that many schools have shut down due to the extreme temperatures.

In Minnesota, school districts are required by law to meet a minimum number of hours of instruction each year. Most school districts are allotted a set number of snow days — anything over that typically requires an extended school year in June to meet the states’ specific threshold.

State law requires 165 days of learning, and most districts have extra days and hours built into the calendars – an average of 170 days.

A spokesperson for the governor told WCCO-TV Thursday, “the Governor has assured local school districts that they will not be penalized for keeping their students safe.”

So, Walz isn’t saying schools don’t have to make up the days, but if school districts do not make the required days of learning due to weather events, they won’t be penalized for it.

State officials anticipate most districts will reach the requirement or adjust schedules to do so.

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