Gonzalez’s Urgency Bill Tackling Students’ Learning Gaps During COVID-19 Heads to the Senate Floor

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO – (Thursday, June 10, 2021) – Today, Assembly Bill 104 by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) to help K-12 students who struggled with remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic passed the Senate Appropriations Committee. The bill can be taken up for a vote on the Senate floor as early as next week. 

“So many of our kids struggled with distance learning during the pandemic. This bill simply ensures students aren’t penalized for falling behind during such a difficult year,” Assemblywoman Gonzalez explained. “For some students across the state, the next school year will begin as early as July. There’s more urgency than ever to ensure AB 104 becomes law so families can immediately make use of the options that will best help their children get back on track for the next school year.”

AB 104 will require school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools to implement a temporary process for students to be able to retake their grade level, if they are not passing at least half of their courses. A consultation must take place within 30 days of a written request from a parent to allow the parent, student, and student’s teacher to determine if it’s in the student’s best interest. A final decision must be issued within 10 days of the consultation.

High school students enrolled during the 2020-21 school year would also be allowed to change letter grades to a “Pass" or “No Pass” designation on their transcript, keeping their GPA from being negatively affected so they still have access to state financial aid for higher education. 

For students who were enrolled in their 3rd or 4th year of high school during the pandemic, AB 104 would require schools to allow them to complete their high school graduation requirements, including an option to enroll in a 5th year of instruction if they can graduate with a high school diploma.
 
“A large percentage of students in all demographic groups were slammed by the multitude of challenges of distance learning. Minority students and students who struggle socioeconomically saw the largest drops in college readiness and college financial aid eligibility,” said James McDonald, a guidance counselor at Los Osos High School. “When AB 104 was introduced on the floor of the Assembly … we knew how important it was to a huge group of our students and their families.”

For questions or to schedule an interview with Assemblywoman Gonzalez, contact Mike Blount: Mike.Blount@asm.ca.gov