Senate panel OKs MacDonald bill to protect parents’ decisions regarding their children

LANSING, Mich. — The Senate Education and Career Readiness Committee on Wednesday approved Sen. Michael D. MacDonald’s legislation to allow parents to make important educational decisions for their children struggling with virtual learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Virtual learning isn’t for everyone, and many Michigan students struggled with their education during this unusual year,” said MacDonald, R-Macomb Township. “As a result, some parents might make the tough decision that the best thing for their child’s education is for them to repeat a grade. Parents know their children better than anyone, and my bill would ensure they know they can make this difficult choice if they think that it’s necessary and that their child’s school will respect their wishes.”

For the 2021-22 school year, Senate Bill 268 would ensure a parent or legal guardian of a student enrolled in a public school or public school academy may request that the student repeat the same grade level he or she was enrolled in for the current 2020-21 school year.

Schools would be required to honor the written request if it is submitted by July 1. After July 1, a student could still be held back, but the school would not be required to comply with the request.

SB 268 now heads to the full Senate for consideration.


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Photo caption: Sen. Michael D. MacDonald, R-Macomb Township, testifies before the Senate Education and Career Readiness Committee on Senate Bill 268 to allow parents with children who struggled with virtual learning during the COVID-19 pandemic to request that their child repeat the same grade level next school year and have the school honor their decision.