Feb 5, 2021 - News

Florida's plan to address students' "COVID slide"

Illustration of a chalkboard with a circular arrow and a coronavirus icon drawn in chalk.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

A bill racing through the Florida Senate would allow elementary and middle school students to repeat a grade next year if their learning has suffered during the pandemic, the Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald's Ana Ceballos reports.

Why it matters: Evidence is mounting that the "COVID slide" is real and troubling.

  • Just 1.6 million of the state’s 2.8 million schoolchildren signed up for in-person instruction when classes resumed in August,
  • An analysis of South Florida schools showed the percentage of students getting Fs had more than doubled.

What it means: If the bill becomes law, parents with children enrolled in elementary and middle schools would have until June 30 to ask permission for their child to repeat a grade next year.

  • Superintendents would have to approve all requests.
  • High school students could not repeat a grade.
  • Students repeating a grade must complete the entire year; no mid-year promotions.

This story first appeared in the Axios Tampa Bay newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.


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