WA lawmakers want students to work in farms

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YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) -- Washington lawmakers want to free up students during the school year to work as farm hands.

The Yakima Herald-Republic reports that (http://bit.ly/xQ5yc4) a measure introduced Friday would authorize the state Board of Education to allow school districts to adjust the 180-day school year in ways that free students to work in agriculture.

Yakima Republican Rep. Norm Johnson says that the measure would also potentially free millions for transportation of farm workers by freeing up some previously allocated money.

He says the bill is open ended and leaves it up to schools to equal farm work as a senior project or allow colleges to match credits for the labor.

Orchardists in Central and Eastern Washington lost portions of their apple crops due to a shortage of fruit pickers.

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Information from: Yakima Herald-Republic, http://www.yakimaherald.com