State Rep. Harris Jr. proposes repayment plan for parents home-schooling during COVID-19
INDIANAPOLIS – State Rep. Earl Harris Jr. (D-East Chicago) today proposed an amendment directing the state to repay Hoosier parents for the increased educational expenses they incurred while COVID-19 kept students learning from home through a tax credit.
Amendment #3 to Senate Bill 414 would have created a $500 refundable tax credit per child for the 2021 tax year. Funding for this tax credit would be made possible through Indiana's general fund, which now has more dollars available for the support of Hoosier families thanks to the recent influx of funds from the American Rescue Plan.
Hoosier families took a hard financial hit when COVID-19 shut down Indiana schools and required students to learn from home. Unexpected expenses like obtaining Internet access, purchasing additional school supplies for home, covering higher utility bills and buying more groceries to cover meals that students would typically have at school put a heavy burden on parents.
“Very few families were prepared to turn their homes into schools this past year,” Harris said.
“I had a conversation with someone who estimated that he and his wife had spent an additional $4,000 on their children's schooling this year. While that family was able to bear that expense, there are a lot of families out there who can't and it's putting a serious strain on their financial health. It's time that we give Hoosier families some credit and show them that we are here to help them.”
The amendment was defeated with a vote of 27-62.