Texas Parents Now Have New Rights to Better Support Their Children’s Learning
SB 1697 allows parents to elect for their child to restart kindergarten or repeat a course or grade
AUSTIN, Texas – July 22, 2021 – Given the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic throughout the 2020-21 school year, the Texas Legislature passed SB 1697 to give parents new rights to determine whether their children should repeat a course or grade. This is just one of several new rights the 87th Legislature granted to Texas parents for the upcoming school year. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) is compiling resources for parents to support this and other decisions they may have the opportunity to make; for more information, parents can visit: www.tea.texas.gov/parents.
This option is especially important to consider for the parents of the nearly 25,000 children in Texas who were eligible for kindergarten in School Year 2020-21, but who did not enroll, as well as for those kindergarteners who had a significantly disrupted school year. Resources to inform this decision can be found here.
The decision to opt for a student to repeat a course or grade may also be right for children in older grades who struggled academically. Resources to inform this decision are available here.
Any Texas parent who believes his or her child would benefit from repeating a course or grade now has the right to make this decision, but must act quickly. If parents decide that it is best for their child to repeat a grade or course, they must inform their school in writing before the start of the upcoming school year. Because schools are making plans now, parents interested in this option should contact their school as soon as possible. The final decision as to whether a student needs to repeat a course or grade in the upcoming school year is now a Texas parent’s to make, though schools can provide input to further inform a parent’s decision.
For students in grade 4 and above this option exists only for the 2021-22 school year, but for Pre-K through grade 3 the option is permanent.
More information on the process along with resources to support parents in making the best decision for their child can be found on a new TEA webpage: http://www.tea.texas.gov/parents. And to see an explanatory video on how this process works, please view here.