New Bill by Assemblywoman Gonzalez Aims to Close Students’ COVID-19 Learning Gaps

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

AB 104 Addresses California’s Looming ‘Learning Loss’ Crisis

SACRAMENTO – (Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020) – California students are missing out on crucial learning time during the COVID-19 crisis. Today, State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) announced new legislation Assembly Bill 104 that will help students bridge that gap.

“Returning to normal after this pandemic won’t magically mean that students will have caught up academically,” Assemblywoman Gonzalez said. “Some students have already missed out on nearly a year of educational progress. We urgently need a plan to help students who have been left behind and ensure schools will provide families with options to allow their children the chance to get back on track.”

AB 104 will provide the state a roadmap to hold California students harmless for lost learning time during the COVID-19 crisis. Options being considered include providing more opportunities for summer classes and other pathways for academic intervention and course credit recovery, streamlining a student's ability to retake their grade level, and providing special consideration for grades attained during the pandemic.

Gonzalez’s legislation would help school-aged children in vulnerable living situations who have faced obstacles to their education during the pandemic, such as those living with technological barriers like a lack of internet access at home or slow internet connections. Research indicates this digital divide has resulted in lower income parents worrying most about their children falling behind in remote learning situations.

Given the unprecedented economic, social and health impacts of COVID-19, many older students have also been dealt added family responsibilities that detract from their education. AB 104 would give these students the ability to make up for education time lost due to taking care of an ill family member, working to supplement the household income, and taking on childcare responsibilities.

For questions on AB 104 or to schedule an interview with Assemblywoman Gonzalez, contact Sami Gallegos: samantha.gallegos@asm.ca.gov