Arkansas Education Board waives state law for school year, clears way for districts to count hours, not days

Arkansas Education Secretary Jacob Oliva (left) and Sarah Moore (right), chair of the Arkansas Board of Education, ask questions of Stacy Smith, deputy commissioner of the Arkansas Division of Elementary and Secondary Education, during the education board’s meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024 in Little Rock. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Thomas Metthe)
Arkansas Education Secretary Jacob Oliva (left) and Sarah Moore (right), chair of the Arkansas Board of Education, ask questions of Stacy Smith, deputy commissioner of the Arkansas Division of Elementary and Secondary Education, during the education board’s meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024 in Little Rock. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Thomas Metthe)

A total of 119 Arkansas school districts on Wednesday received at least conditional state approval to make a mid-year transition from a minimum 178-day school year calendar to a schedule that counts instructional hours instead.

The

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