BRAZOS COUNTY, TX — Before COVID-19, only schools could decide if a student should repeat a grade or move forward in their learning.
This year will different thanks to new legislation allowing parents to also have a say.
Deciding to hold a child back a school year is a tough decision but for Kayla Clark, a mother of two, says she would make the choice if needed.
"I don't think you should just push them. I think if they need to be held back, hold them back. But don't just expect them to just jump right back into it," Clark said.
Because of all the disruptions due to COVID-19, the state legislature passed a bill this session that allows parents to decide if their child repeats a course or grade.
For parents with students between pre-K and third grade, it's a permanent option.
"We can't overturn them, but I do feel like we have a responsibility to counsel them talk about the pluses and minuses," Andrew Peters, superintendent, Caldwell ISD said.
For fourth-graders and above, parents only have the authority to choose for the upcoming school year.
Peters is concerned some parents may use this choice parents for the wrong reasons.
"The idea that parents want to keep their child in those lower grades longer so that when they are older when they hit high school and they are playing varsity sports, and for me as an educator that's not a very good reason," Peters said.
Peters says so far only three families in Caldwell ISD plan to have their children stay back a year. He says if more families choose to do this, it can throw off enrollment numbers.
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