Pandemic Gap Year: Students Reluctant to Advance a Grade Gain Legislative Permission to Stay Put

Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman, R-Centre
Image via Commonwealth Media Services at The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman (R., Centre) sponsored the bill.

Pennsylvania Senate has unanimously approved legislation that lets parents opt for a pandemic-related scholastic repeat year for their children. The arrangement was described in a staff report from The Philadelphia Inquirer

The proposal also allows special education students to return to school for an additional year, even if they have reached the cut-off age of 21. 

Governor Tom Wolf has not yet taken a stand for or against the bill. But his office did say there were concerns over how the bill could affect schools’ finances, staffing, and programming. 

“We will review the bill when it gets to the desk,” said Wolf spokesperson Lyndsay Kensinger. 

The bill gives parents until July 15 to decide if their child should repeat the grade. 

Students repeating a year would be able to take part in extracurricular activities, except if they are over 21 and wish to play sports. 

Students who are 18 years old and above are able to decide for themselves if they want to repeat a grade. 

Read more about the bill in The Philadelphia Inquirer

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