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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: August 31, 2021 01:12 PM
From: Representative Natalie Mihalek
To: All House members
Subject: Empowering Parents with Pandemic Relief Grants
As the new school year begins, school districts and community leaders are working to safely preserve in-person education this fall, but no school district plan will meet the needs of every student.

Unique challenges require a unique approach. While broad mitigation efforts and safety decisions may work for some students, it is becoming increasingly clear that parents still need options when it comes to the health and education of their children.

In the near future, I plan to introduce new legislation to ensure parents – not bureaucrats or administrators – have the final say in their children’s health and wellness in the classroom this school year. Similar efforts are underway in Florida and Arizona to ensure parents can best manage their children’s education in the upcoming school year.

Under my legislation, parents with school-age children in a public school that has implemented COVID mitigation efforts that are incongruent with a child’s health or educational needs will be eligible to receive Pandemic Relief Grants. These grants will provide one-time funding in a restricted-use account to offset costs associated with choosing an educational alternative that meets their child’s individual health and learning needs.

The accounts would be administered by the state Treasurer, much like the existing 529 program, with all funding coming from the American Rescue Plan Act funds.

Pandemic Relief Grants could only be used by families for students’ health and education needs like covid mitigation supplies, tuition, tutoring, online classes, curriculum, tuition, counseling, and services for students with special needs.

Pandemic Relief Grants will simply give parents additional options to meet their child’s learning needs should a one-size-fits-approach not work for their student.

Introduced as HB2245