Sen. Krawiec Ratifies Bill Funding Education Support Programs for Children with Disabilities

After hearing pleas from a family in her district, she fought to eliminate the waitlists for two programs

$6.5 million will support nearly 2,500 families across the state

Senator Joyce Krawiec (R-Forsyth) ratified House Bill 1105, which included $6.5 million to eliminate the waitlists for the Children with Disabilities Grant Program and the Education Savings Account Program.

Fully funding the waitlists for these programs gives nearly 2,500 families the ability to get additional support for their children. The Children with Disabilities Program provides $4,000 a semester and the Educational Savings Account Program provides $9,000 per year. Both programs can be used for things like tuition, tutoring, and additional curriculum.

Sen. Krawiec was moved to act after hearing stories about how children with exceptional needs are languishing as schools move to remote learning. One family — the Stephensons — reached out to her after feeling like they were running out of options for their son Matthew, who has autism.

“After hearing Matthew’s story and others around the state, I felt a duty to provide these families the relief and assistance they need,” Sen. Krawiec said. “Parents of students with exceptional needs feel lost in the shuffle of moving to remote education. For students like Matthew, remote learning just doesn’t cut it. His parents can see him regressing before their eyes. It broke my heart to know their pleas went unanswered.”

House Bill 1105 includes $440 million to provide $335 “Extra Credit” grants to parents with children. Parents have suffered unexpected financial burdens resulting from school closures, and the Extra Credit grants will help offset some of that burden.

Additionally, the bill provides funding from the federal CARES Act for several other areas, including:

  • $35 million for child care assistance;
  • $75 million for PPE;
  • $10 million for internet connectivity for students;
  • $30 million for the GREAT program to improve rural broadband;
  • $34 million for testing and tracing;
  • A hold harmless provision for school districts that see declining enrollment;
  • $20 million for COVID treatment for the uninsured;
  • $45 million for a small business grant program.

The bill was passed by both the Senate and the House. Gov. Roy Cooper now has 30 days to sign it, veto it, or let it become law without his signature.

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