A North Carolina bill that was approved by the state House on Wednesday would send $1,000 payments to as many as 10,000 students based on their parents’ income level.
The legislation largely targets low- and- middle- income households and calls for using $10 million from the pandemic aid provided by the federal government, according to an NBC affiliate based out of North Carolina, WXII.
If the bill becomes a law, the Education Department must grant the state approval to use the coronavirus relief money for schools on the grant program.
The terms of the bill require the state to use up the funds by September 2023 on school-related needs including tutoring services, textbooks, care for students with special needs and other educational programs that have fees.
“The idea that they're getting some money and they can go by a car, that's not going to happen with how this is structured,” Republican State Rep. Jeffrey Elmore told another local NBC affiliate, WRAL. The grant is “so they can get their school supplies or tutoring services, et cetera, so it keeps it very focused on educational expenses for the child.”
The North Carolina Education Assistance Authority would administer the money, and families can apply for the grants once the website goes live, according to WRAL. Unlike the federal level $1,400 stimulus payments from President Joe Biden’s rescue package that automatically sent qualifying individuals and families the money, parents of students in North Carolina must apply for the state level aid, if the bill passes.
Eligible recipients must be enrolled in the state’s public school system and meet certain income thresholds.
Recipients must also not be fully enrolled at a college or university.
This is a separate effort from Biden’s relief bill passed in March, which offered eligible Americans a third round of direct pandemic aid after receiving $600 and $1,200 stimulus payments from Congress since the start of the pandemic.
Those who qualified for the federal government’s stimulus include single filers earning up to $75,000, and joint filers making up to $150,000. Individual filers earning up to $80,000 and joint filers making up to $160,000 received smaller amounts. Eligibility is based on the most recent tax return and adjusted gross income.
Nearly 94 percent of Americans who are eligible for the $1,400 payment have received a check, while those who are still waiting for one are advised to use the IRS’s Get My Payment tool.
Rachel Bucchino is a reporter at the National Interest. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, and The Hill.