FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — The pandemic put Kentucky students through a lot over the past year. Many missed out on milestones. Many struggled to learn virtually.
Now imagine that they get a do-over.
That's where Senate Bill 128 comes in. The bill offers "any student enrolled in a Kentucky public school in grades kindergarten through 12 during the 2020-2021 school year" to request "to use the 2021-2022 school year as a supplemental school year to retake or supplement the courses or grades the student has already taken."
In simpler terms, it's a do-over year.
"I see it as an opportunity bill," said the bill's sponsor, Sen. Max Wise. "I see it as opportunity that was lost in this past year of school."
"It's an academic first focused bill," said Wise. "We have children that have truly had a difficult time in the different types of learning - hybrid models - they've been offered. It's no blame on anyone. Everybody's trying to do their best, but this simply gives parents that option - if they think what's best for their child - they can come back and re-do the current grade that they're in."
The bill also allows high school students who chose to re-do their classes to get a fifth year of eligibility in the KHSAA. This gives students the opportunity to make up some missed games.
"Some schools didn't start the regular season on time. We also had a huge winter storm that affected many games this year. We've got schools that have been touch-and-go all the way through this," said Wise. "So once again - it's an opportunity. But the impact of this truly gets back to the academic focus."
But some worry the focus will turn to athletics with students possibly re-doing a year to get a better shot at recruitment. Wise said that is not the intent behind the bill.
"I don't think this bill should be focusing on someone's dreams of playing division one athletics and repeating a year just because of sports."
Even if the bill becomes law, not every student will be able to utilize this option. The decision to offer this opportunity will be up to local school boards.