Recently filed legislation seeks to ease the financial burden on families adjusting to remote learning according to Chief Co-Sponsor, State Representative Tom Morrison (R-Palatine).
“We have hundreds of thousands of Illinois students back in school but not back in the classroom,” Rep. Morrison explained. “IDPH guidelines make it very difficult for many school districts to begin in person instruction, and parents have been left scrambling to figure out how to best provide for their kids’ education at home. It’s an unexpected burden for parents to budget for expenses like another computer so that their child can have online instruction.”
House Bill 5834, filed on September 10th, creates an income tax credit for guardians of students for education expenses related to online learning. This includes computers, printers, internet access, tutors, and other eligible expenses. Not wanting to lose quality teachers who are having to pull double duty, under the bill, if the guardian is also a teacher they receive an additional tax credit. The bill also creates a tax credit for employers who help their employees pay for their child’s remote learning expenditures, thus incentivizing employers of working parents.
“This remote learning education expense credit will assist students and families when it comes to ensuring quality education for our schoolchildren,” Rep Morrison continued. “Everyone is doing their best to adapt to COVID-19 changes, and the state needs to provide support wherever we can. In-person learning is preferential for both students and parents, therefore as long it is restricted or limited, Illinois families should have access to a credit like this.”
The House and Senate are planning to convene on November 17th for fall veto session. Rep. Morrison hopes the bill will be considered then in addition to a number of other coronavirus relief measures.