LANSING – As parents prepare to send students back to school, State Senator Jim Ananich (D-Flint) is pushing for measures to help them afford necessary school supplies and materials. He introduced legislation last week, SB 1030, to give taxpayers a credit for up to $1,000 for qualified purchases of school supplies like books, computer programs, and science equipment. Minnesota and Illinois are examples of other states that already offer credits for their citizens.
“Every dime counts when it comes to securing a good education for our students,” said Ananich. “Hopefully this legislation will help provide some relief for families who are just trying to make sure their kids have everything they need to succeed.”
A recent study of average costs for supplies done by Huntington Bank – the Backpack Index – found that materials for public elementary students could cost on average around $642, middle schoolers $918, and $1,284 for high school supplies and fees. All of these are considerable increases over last year’s expenses. At the same time, Michigan is currently tied for the third highest unemplyment rate in the country and average wages nationally only increased by two percent last year.
Ananich is also supporting local charitable programs that help supply backpacks and materials for families in need. The United Way of Genesee County is partnering with the Michigan Department of Human Services and Walmart for a major back-to-school drive to support Genesee County families in need. The effort began last week and ends this Sunday, August 24th. To get more information on how you can help with this effort, please email Jamie-Lee Venable at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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