Assembly bill would allow students right to repeat their current grade

Worried that your children’s education has been hampered by the pandemic? Wish your child could repeat the grade they are in next year?

Assemblyman Ralph Caputo (D-Belleville) introduced a bill Friday that gives parents the opportunity to make such a request — and says that the request must be granted.

Bill A5365 would allow a student enrolled in K-8th grade to repeat the grade level they were enrolled in during the 2020-2021 school year. Under the bill, the parent or guardian must consult with the school principal, or another school leader, and the student’s teacher before submitting the request for grade retention.

To be clear, the bill still has a long way to go before passing. At this point, it’s unclear if it will come up for a vote.

Caputo, after submitting the bill, said it meets the needs of an unusual time.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has put a great strain on our children’s education,” he said. “With the difficulty to get resources and the lack of in-person teaching, many students and families are seeing setbacks in development and learning.

“This bill will allow students the opportunity, if they need, to retake any of the grades K-8 for the 2021-2022 school year and get back on track toward maximizing their education and building relationships with fellow classmates.”

According to the bill, the request must be in writing before June 30, 2021.