CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The legislature has approved a bill that would prevent county school systems from continuing classes well into the summer to make up days missed due to bad weather.

The bill (HB 4171) would allow schools to extend the length of the school day and use the banked time to reach the equivalent of the required 180 days of instruction.

The bill also prevents the school year from beginning before Aug. 10 and requires school to be out by June 10.

The legislation is in response to last school year when several counties were forced to hold classes well into June to meet the 180-day requirement because of numerous weather-related cancellations.

Senate Education Committee Chairman Dave Sypolt (R-Preston) said the bill takes out the requirement for 180 “separate” days of instruction, so counties can meet the mandate using instructional minutes, adding time to each day.

“If each day were 15 minutes longer than necessary to meet the 180 days at the end of the year if they have enough accrued minutes, they would not have to extend their calendar into the summer months,” Sypolt said.

The bill cleared the Senate Wednesday 32-2.

The House approved changes to the bill during its floor session Wednesday night and sent it to the desk of Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.