Wilk learning loss bill clears first Senate committee

State Sen. Scott Wilk (pictured) and other local legislators reconvened Monday for a second year of their two-year session in Sacramento. Courtesy of Scott Wilk

The California Senate Education Committee unanimously approved Wednesday a bill that would mandate school districts offer students additional supports to address learning loss in the 2021-22 school year if a parent requests to retain their student in their current grade level due to pandemic-related learning loss.  

Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, authored the bill, which will be heard in the Senate Appropriation Committee in the coming weeks. 

The bill would also allow students to retake courses in which they received a D or F grade and provide parents with research on interventions to address learning loss. 

“Parents have been the boots on the ground during the pandemic and know best if their kids need help. And that is what this bill does,” Wilk said of Senate Bill 545 in a press release. “It gives students and parents the support needed to address learning lost during the pandemic. This pandemic has been hard on everyone, but learning losses can affect a student’s progress the rest of their lives, so it’s important to act immediately.” 

The bill originally sought to require school districts approve a parent’s request to keep their student in their 2020-21 school year grade level if the parent thinks it’s necessary due to pandemic-related learning loss.  

Additional supports include one-on-one tutoring and extended learning opportunities approved as part of Assembly Bill 86, which makes more than $6.5 billion available to public schools for supplemental instruction and support. 

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