You can spend days listening to multiple sources on TV and the internet and read pages and pages in the newspapers about the basic content of the latest stimulus package and still be no more the wiser as to what is contained in that 728-page package that is longer than the Harry Potter books.
I figured I would break down some of more interesting items buried in this package that affect us here in this community, which will be of tremendous benefit to everyone, as I have yet to hear more than whispers of it on any of the news stations.
The overall education funding portion of this bill, for instance, more than doubles the amount of school funding allocated in the last two relief bills combined, including a large amount that Senator Chuck Schumer managed to add in at the last moment which will address private schools—yeshivas in particular—as well as the public-school system. A percentage of all the monies targeted for schools will be set aside for use of private schools which will assist all yeshivas as well.
In the $125 billion in funding for K–12 education, the bill requires districts to set aside percentages of funding to address learning loss and to invest in summer school and other programming to help students recover from educational disruptions during the pandemic. The law also targets long-underserved students and allocates a portion of that funding for special education programming under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
A spokesman for Chuck Schumer said in a statement: “Make no mistake, this bill provides generous funding for public schools, but there are also many private schools which serve large percentages of low-income and disadvantaged students who also need relief from the COVID crisis.”
The bill is structured so that private schools are also the beneficiaries of this stimulus, which will assist our yeshivas that have struggled for the last year with the difficulties of trying to take care of all their students under the pandemic situation.
The second big win in this stimulus package is for families with children. The stimulus package raises the child tax credit from the previous $2,000 to $3,000 per child ($3,600 for children under age 6). There are, of course, different sliding scales based on income, but however you look at it, this has the potential to help families with children keep more income at home rather than hand it over to the IRS.
I have only broached these two particular items in my article today, but there are so many interesting items listed in this stimulus package, with many enhancements to benefit low-income families as well as middle-class families. Economists are saying that such measures have not been seen since Franklin Roosevelt enacted the “New Deal” after the Depression.
Let us hope that after the past difficult year, this is the beginning of people getting their lives back and getting the uplift everyone needs after this awful pandemic. We’ll see what other surprises await us with this stimulus package as we continue to learn about the many benefits coming down the pike for everyone!
Anessa Cohen lives in Cedarhurst and is a licensed real-estate broker (Anessa V Cohen Realty) and a licensed N.Y.S. loan officer (FM Home Loans) with over 20 years of experience offering full-service residential, commercial, and management real-estate services as well as mortgage services. She can be reached at 516-569-5007 or via her website, www.AVCrealty.com. Readers are encouraged to send questions or comments to anessa@AVCrealty.com. Read more of Anessa Cohen’s articles at 5TJT.com.