Rep. Mark Batinick Champions Legislation to Help Families with Remote Learning Costs

As families continue to navigate remote learning this fall, State Representative Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) is sponsoring legislation to assist families with unanticipated costs incurred due to remote learning for children.

On August 15, the Illinois Department of Public Health released updated COVID-19 guidelines for schools that were much stricter than the original June rules that schools used to craft initial in-person learning plans for schools this fall. Upon reviewing the updated regulations, most school districts decided to move the fall semester to a fully remote learning schedule just weeks before school began. This, in turn, left parents and families scrambling to make arrangements for digital, off-site learning.

HB 5834 creates an income tax credit for parents and legal guardians of school-age students for educational expenses that result from remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible expenses include additional computers, printers, internet routers, tutors, learning facilitators and certain childcare expenses. Additional tax credits would be extended to teachers with children, since these teachers report to their schools while children are required to engage in online learning off-site.

“When K-12 education switched from in-person to online learning, parents began incurring unanticipated costs,” said Batinick. “The provisions of HB 5834 provide parents and guardians with some financial support as they strive to provide a conducive educational environment away from school.”

Batinick is hoping the bill will be considered during the upcoming fall veto session in November.