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States Target Learning Loss with Summer School and Extended Days, but Some Parents Want Option to Hold Kids Back

Linda Jacobson, The 74 |

Legislatures are weighing proposals to establish summer learning initiatives, expand afterschool programs and extend the school year. But for those who need more to get back on track, some states are examining a more controversial option: holding students back.

  • New Mexico legislation would allow elementary schools to add an hour to the school day — an idea viewed as more palatable to teachers unions than requiring summer school. 
  • Connecticut lawmakers have introduced a bill that would award grants to districts, cities and nonprofits to provide educational and enrichment programs that promote literacy. 
  • In North Carolina, a bill passed Feb. 24 in the House mandating that districts offer students at least 150 hours of summer instruction, as well as sports and enrichment activities. Students would not be required to attend, but districts are expected to target programs toward students most at risk.
  • In Florida, a Senate bill would allow parents of students in K-8 to request that their children repeat the grade they’re in this year. 
  • Lawmakers in California are considering a similar bill to the one in Florida.
  • And an Indiana bill would spend $150 million on grants to districts that submit “a student learning acceleration plan.”
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