New Education Law Includes Provision for Parental Retention Request

Two girls at table, writing.


A parental retention request provision of the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act that was signed into law Tuesday by Governor Ron DeSantis allows public-school parents to request that their children be held-back for the 2021-2022 school year.

The provision will only affect students in kindergarten through fifth grade and is available due to what is known as the “Covid slide,” referring to the drop in learning progression in many students during the pandemic.

In order for a parent to begin the retention process for a student this upcoming school year, they must submit a written request to the school’s principal on or before June 30th, 2021. In certain circumstances, requests sent to a principal after that date may be considered at his or her discretion.

If a parent’s request is accepted, the principal, teachers, and parent or guardian of the student can decide to develop and review a one-year educational plan or Individual Education Plan (IEP) meant to guide the student towards scholastic success with updates and data designed to track a student’s progress, without the need for complete retention.

In previous years, students who were requested to be retained were advised on the decision based on an extensive process that included test scores, grades, and different levels of progression in areas like english and math. The new provision limited that process by allowing parents to request retention based on reasoning as broad as “for academic purposes.”

Before committing to retention, the parent and student must be notified by the principal of the ramifications that retention could have regarding the student’s academics and eligibility for interscholastic sports.

Data from each school district regarding the number of students retained before or during the 2021-2022 school year, whose parents’ requests were authorized by the provision, will not be available until June 30th, 2022.

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Casey Owens is a contributing writer at The Florida Capital Star. Follow him on Twitter at @cowensreports. Email tips to [email protected]

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One Thought to “New Education Law Includes Provision for Parental Retention Request”

  1. 83ragtop50

    What a novel idea. Parents having authority over their children. Who would have thunk?