Expand p-ebt to homeschool and private school low income families

Expand p-ebt to homeschool and private school low income families

June 2, 2022
Signatures: 11Next Goal: 25
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Why this petition matters

Started by Mary Habana

A second round of pandemic emergency benefits (P-EBT) have been approved as part of the Families First act (FFCRA) signed in March by President Joe Biden. 

These benefits include up to $1,200 dollars per child who is eligible for the 2020-2021 school year. 
Eligibility guidelines authorize  those under 6 who are snap recipients and those who are in school grades k-12 and are eligible for free and reduced lunch to qualify.

During the first round of benefits for the 19-2020 school year, all households with children under 18 who were recipients of snap qualified for P-EBT but 20% of families with eligible children did not receive benefits due to confusing eligibility guidelines. For the second round, they’ve made eligibility  guidelines even more restrictive and confusing. 

Due to labor shortages caused by the pandemic driving inflation, the price of many foods have doubled. Making it even harder for families to feed their children while they are out of school.  

Many of these low income families applying for help have been cut out of receiving the pandemic emergency benefits or P-EBT due to restrictions limiting the emergency food assistance solely to students enrolled in a school that provides free or reduced lunch. Allowing many of the students who decided to virtual school or homeschool this year to be disqualified from receiving the 2nd round of benefits. 

Many of these homeschooling families are minorities with low income who are already having to spend the small income they have on teaching supplies and curriculums.

One nationwide study shows that 41% of homeschool students are Black, Asian, Hispanic, and others (i.e., not White/non-Hispanic) (U.S. Department of Education, 2019).

Many are receiving SNAP benefits, which do not factor in the amount they should receive for the lunch meals these children would receive if enrolled in school. 

Studies show that upwards of 9 million students of multiple socio-economic backgrounds are being homeschooled and the pandemic drastically increased the number, as many parents no matter the income, want to give their children the best education possible while also keeping them safe from the threat of covid-19. Many of these children live in households with high risk individuals and care takers. 

The children of these homeschooling families are struggling with food insecurity due to the pandemic just like the children enrolled in schools that provide free lunch. These families pay tax dollars to these public schools that their children do not attend while those same taxes are being used to provide  emergency aid that their children will not benefit from.

The purpose of the bill signed was to help families with children deal with food insecurity during the pandemic. Struggling low income children should not be excluded because they don’t attend the correct school or because they attend a virtual or private school that doesn’t provide free lunch. 

Virtual and homeschool parents received little to no assistance in internet cost, equipment cost, distance learning device cost, curriculum cost and other cost associated with teaching even though the pandemic forced many to have to choose to teach their own children. This leaves them in the position to face deeper food insecurity due to finances going to other necessities for the child’s education.  Again these families pay taxes that are used for the public schools that they do not get to benefit from.  

We would like the agencies and officials who created the eligibility requirements to amend and expand the guidelines to include all low income children facing food insecurity.

Especially for those household with school age children who are snap recipients for the 2021-2022 school year.....

These pandemic emergency benefits should benefit all families with children facing food insecurity due to the pandemic and not just children who attend a school that provides free or reduced lunch as children who are not at those schools or decided to virtual school or homeschool due to the pandemic still facing high levels of food insecurity due to the pandemic. 



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Signatures: 11Next Goal: 25
Support now