A Bismarck state senator has introduced a measure to provide some money to families who have out-of-pocket education expenses as a result of schools being locked down and going to distance learning because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sen. Mike Dwyer’s (R-Bismarck) bill would set aside $12 million from the next round of COVID relief money for those grants.
Dwyer said he got the idea because he has two children who are teachers, and they have children. Dwyer said the school closed, and so did their day care, and the two were expected to work from home.
"It was impossible," Dwyer said. "It simply couldn't happen because of all the little kids."
Dwyer saids he and his wife provided day care for their grandchildren. And he said it got him thinking about parents who didn’t have that kind of option.
"If you have small children, and you're expected to work from home, or your day care shuts down, you have some costs," Dwyer said. "When they talk about targeted assistance, that would be one option for providing some support."
Dwyer saids the measure is a work in progress, to determine what the right levels of grants would be, and how much money would be needed for that program.