Senator Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) announced that her bill providing financial relief to parents of K-12 students for expenses they paid while shifting to virtual learning, has passed the Senate Governance and Finance Committee.
Specifically, the bill would reimburse parents for 50% of qualified expenses related to virtual learning through a tax credit up to $2,250 per student. The qualified expenses include tutoring services, special needs services, books and supplies, computer equipment, including related software, internet services and other equipment.
“SB 610 will provide relief to families by reimbursing some of the costs parents have paid out of pocket,” said Senator Grove. “This is one thing the state can do to take some of the financial burden off of parents and ensure children have the tools they need to be successful.”
Nearly every school has been forced to transition to some level of virtual learning due to Governor Newsom’s shutdown of K-12 schools. As schools work to reopen, many have indicted their interest in continuing to offer some level of distance-learning programs. However, research has demonstrated that the dramatic shift to online learning risks widening educational inequalities which are only made worse by the financial costs involved in virtual learning.
“This has been an incredibly hard year for all of us, and has impacted our lives substantially, this tax credit will go a long way towards helping,” said Ben H., a parent from Scotts Valley.
This week, Ben H. along with hundreds of other parents signed a petition in support of SB 610. If signed into law, this bill will provide a much needed tax relief for parents and will ensure students have access to the tools they need to learn.
SB 610 passed with a bipartisan vote of 5 to 0. The measure will next be heard by the Senate Appropriations Committee.