HARRISBURG – Parents would have the option to allow their children to repeat a grade level due to the learning disruptions created by COVID-19 under a bill approved by the PA Senate Education Committee. In current practice, the decision on whether to hold a student back is made solely by the child’s school and teacher. Senate Bill 664 would give parents the option to make that decision for the 2021-22 school year since they are in the best position to gauge their child’s development and educational needs after students have spent much of the past year learning at home. Committee Chairman, Lancaster County Sen. Scott Martin says he’s heard from parents about the challenges faced by their children. The measure would also allow parents the option to extend enrollment in special education programs for an extra year due to COVID-19. This provision would prevent students with special needs from aging out of the system at age 21 after missing out on much of the specialized attention they need due to COVID-19 disruptions. The bill was sent to the full Senate for consideration.

SEN. SCOTT MARTIN