New assembly bill will assist struggling students

Assembly bill 104 will assist students in California through the pandemic


The pandemic has affected every single student in one way or another and for some, few positive things have come out of the pandemic. But now there might be a way to assist students and their struggling grade point average.


AB-104 is a new assembly bill that passed May 18, 2021 by an overwhelming majority  in the California senate. The bill is split into 5 sections and it’s a way to change students’ D and F grades to Pass or No Pass which will positively affect their overall GPA, college applications, and their future.


Section 1 of the bill is about pupil retention which means for K-12 students, the school district or the parent or guardian of the pupil, can request an additional year of school to repeat their current grade level on or before June 15, 2021.  This applies mainly to freshmen and sophomores because the remediation process is different for juniors and seniors, as stated in section 3 of the bill. To support school districts, a state mandated local program will be set-up to assist school districts as they deal with their pressing new responsibilities.


Section 2 perhaps the part of the bill that impacts students most, explains the newly implemented grade changes. With D and F grades rising heavily throughout the state among secondary students, this bill would allow the parents or guardians of a student or the student themselves if they are 18 or older, to request to change their D or F to simply Pass or No Pass on their transcripts. 


This would require all California State Universities (CSU) to accept the altered transcripts and would encourage the University of California (UC) and other private institutions to accept the altered transcripts as well. This means that private schools such as USC and UC schools such as UCSB, UCLA, UCSD etc., do not have to adhere to the guidelines due to the limited authority the Senate has over UC and private post-secondary schools.


Section 3 mentions the possibility of a fifth year of high school for seniors and juniors who are not on track to graduate by their expected date. As explained in section 1, seniors and juniors can request an additional year but it will not look the same as freshmen and sophomores requesting the same thing. Instead of being held back, seniors and juniors may be granted a fifth year of high school. However, the fifth year requires a school official’s consent.

The “state-mandated local program” will be very similar to  the “Adult Education” curriculum currently in place. Any classes taken after the “statewide coursework requirement”, will not be required for a student to complete their secondary education.


Section 4 takes on the financial aspect of this bill for school districts. The state will be required to reimburse school districts for the state-mandated costs of the bill. It explains that if mandated any expense must be paid by the state.


The fifth, and final, section of the bill explains that the bill will be in effect immediately. The 2021 Seniors graduate June 10 and with this bill being in effect, hopefully it will benefit the seniors and juniors’ academic careers through this year of trial and tribulation.