OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Ryan Martinez, R-Edmond, on Wednesday won committee passage in the House Appropriations & Budget Committee of a bill that would grant $1,000 refunds to any parent or guardian of a child enrolled in prekindergarten through 12th grade at any Oklahoma public school.
House Bill 1927 would allow the payments from the state’s General Revenue Fund upon the bill’s effective date, Nov. 1, 2021.
“Many of our public schools were closed to in-person learning for much of last spring, and some have not yet re-opened this school year,” Martinez said. “This left parents scrambling for other options such as paid childcare or forced them to either quit their jobs or alter their work schedules, all at a loss of personal income. These people pay tax dollars to fund public education, but when such education is not available, they should be recompensed.”
Sen. Adam Pugh, R-Edmond, is the Senate author of the bill and the chair of the Senate Education Committee.
“This minimal refund is an attempt to help parents and guardians who experienced unexpected education and childcare expenses over the past year due to the shutdown of COVID-19,” Pugh said. “Parents and families have navigated challenging economic uncertainty, with many losing their jobs or having reduced hours and pay. At the same time, they have been asked to juggle these stresses with the additional responsibility of having their school-age children at home or making arrangements for childcare that comes with more costs. This refund is warranted.”
The bill passed out of committee with a vote of 29-1. It is now eligible to be considered by the entire House.