April 23, 2020
Today Sutherland Institute announced it has joined the national coalition urging congressional leadership to expand 529 education savings accounts temporarily to cover learning from home expenses due to COVID-19. The national coalition is led by Americans for Tax Reform (ATR).
“Flexibility and options in education are crucial if we are to meet the unique needs of children, especially during times of uncertainty. We applaud this effort,” said Christine Cooke, education fellow at Sutherland Institute.
From the coalition letter:
Because of the Coronavirus threat, Americans have been forced into self-isolation and schools have been shut down. Tens of millions of students are forced to learn from home, a situation that has led to additional costs stemming from the need to implement online and distance learning. These new costs are exacerbated by the financial hardships that Americans are experiencing across the country due to a lost job, or reduction in work hours.
Congress can help families with these new expenses by expanding 529 education savings accounts to cover expenses incurred from learning from home. These expenses can include curriculum and curricular materials, books or other instructional materials, online educational materials, tuition for tutoring or educational classes outside of the home, and educational therapies for students with disabilities.
The coalition letter was delivered on April 23, 2020, and can be viewed in full below.
To learn more about 529 education savings accounts, visit Utah’s my529.org website.
Caring for children and families in vulnerable situations is an undoubted public priority, and everyone willing to provide good-faith help is needed.
The year 2021 has started fast and furious in the political space. Rioting at the U.S. Capitol and the banning of our president from certain big tech platforms like Facebook and Twitter have continued the national discussion about speech and ideas.
Ensuring that Utah civics education is adequate will take a statewide commitment from more than just the Legislature (and it’s usually better when it comes from more local decisionmakers), and it will demand that we avoid simplistic solutions about teachers or schools simply needing to “do better.”