Fellow North Dakotans,
COVID has been a trying experience for us all, but perhaps in a unique way for parents of K-12 students. Parents have had to instantly become teachers at home, taking an enormous amount of time to help their children study, as well as buying computers and supplies, upgrading internet service, supplying lunches, arranging childcare, and sometimes providing special education and employing tutors. Nevertheless, the vast majority of federal COVID funding earmarked for education that North Dakota has received so far has gone to schools, not to parents incurring these costs. Senate Bill 2176 would fix this inequity, and your voice to legislators is needed!
Senate Bill 2176 has a number of features that would apply to any ND student who previously received in-person instruction, but who now is receiving remote instruction by parents because of COVID. It would provide $1,500 in funds to the family for the first child, and $500 for each child thereafter, with a cap of $2,500 per family. The bill would be targeted at average and below-average income families, would be retroactive (reimburse expenses already incurred), and would reimburse for child care – an expensive component for many families. SB2176 would tap remaining federal COVID funding as well as future federal COVID funding, so it would not create a drain on the state budget.
SB2176 is a bill long overdue. Parents have needed financial help for instructing their children during COVID for a long time and this bill seeks to remedy that situation. We need your help in encouraging the Senate Education Committee to render a “DO PASS” decision on this bill.
There are two ways to do this. First, you can send a message to all of the members of the Senate Education Committee, urging them to support North Dakota parents. Second, you can testify via written document or online during the hearing by signing up here. Now is the time to speak up to support families here in North Dakota!
President and Executive Director