SB 1697: Mom, Can I please be promoted???

This bill allows parents of students in traditional or open enrollment charter schools to elect to have their child 1) repeat pre-k; 2) enroll in pre-k if the student would have been eligible in the previous year as a three-year old, and has not yet enrolled in kindergarten; 3) repeat kindergarten; 4) enroll in kindergarten if the student could have enrolled in kindergarten the previous year and has not yet enrolled in first grade; or 5) repeat any grade from 1st to 8th

In high school, the parent can choose to have the student repeat any course, unless the school determines that the student has met all graduation requirements.  Think of what a powerful weapon this is for parents in a power struggle with an adolescent:

Parent: You’re going to repeat Biology next year!    

Kid:  But I already passed it! I got a B+!! and I hate Biology!

Parent: Too bad, kid. I’ve got the power.  I’m going to use it.


The provisions regarding students from 4th grade and up expire on September 1, 2022.  As to the earlier grades, this is permanent.

How it works: parents must make their election in writing.  If the school disagrees with the parent, it must convene a “retention committee” consisting of the principal or designee, the parent, the teacher of the grade or course, and other teachers at the principal’s discretion if multiple courses are at stake.   The committee must meet in person unless an alternative is acceptable to the parent.  The student may not be retained or retake the course if the parent does not meet with the committee, but if the parent does meet with the committee the parent gets to decide about retention or retaking of the course, and the school “must abide by the decision of the parent.” Parent Power.

If a student receives a passing grade or earns credit for a course, and is then retained, the student must get the original grade assigned unless the district adopts a policy to a different effect.

Retention by parental option is treated as retention by the school for purposes of PEIMS and accountability.

This parental option transfers to the student who is 18 years old, or has the disabilities of minority removed.

The Commissioner will adopt rules about this. Those rules must address whether a student who is retained by parental option should be considered “at risk.” Students retained for pre-k are not “at risk.”  Those rules must also allow for ADA funding for a grade or course that is being repeated due to parental option.

Administering this one will be interesting,


Got a question or comment for the Dawg?  Let me hear from you at

Tomorrow: Retired and then rehired?  News for you….