KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) — Kingsport City Schools is against a new state law that would keep 3rd graders from moving to the next grade if they are not proficient in English Language Arts (ELA).

The school system held an informational meeting Thursday evening for parents.

The new law requires 3rd graders to score proficiently on the ELA part of the TCAP. If they don’t, they have to repeat the grade, take summer classes, and take tutoring during the next school year.

“The research does not show that it’s to the best advantage of children to retain them,” KCS Assistant Superintendent Rhonda Stringham said. “There are other things that happen later on down the road. And the main reason that we don’t support the retention law as it is written is it hinges on one piece of data, and a child is not a piece of data. A child is multifaceted.”

The school system believes the decision to retain a child should be up to families, teachers, and principals.

Kingsport City Schools has posted more information about the new law on the school district’s website.