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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- A House panel has advanced a bill allowing South Carolina school districts to get creative with school hours.

The measure approved Wednesday on a 7-0 vote lets schools change the state's 180-day requirement for classroom time into the equivalent number of hours. It now goes to the House Education Committee.

Supporters say the bill gives districts more flexibility.

The proposal would allow schools to add some time onto school days in order to shave some days off the school calendar or make up for weather-related closings. Schools within a district could operate on separate calendars.

The House passed the bill last year 90-3, but it died in the Senate. Opponents said students need more instructional time, not fewer days.

Superintendent Mick Zais supports the bill.

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