DC is paying low-income parents $1,000 for back-to-school expenses

shopping for school supplies
Photo credit Julie Vennitti Botos via Imagn Content Services

Low-income parents in Washington D.C. are getting a big boost from the district to help with expenses as kids head back to school.

Washington D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser said the district will make a one-time, "back-to-school payment" of approximately $1,000 for families enrolled in the District's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.

Bowser cited the need to address the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on children's schooling.

"We know that we're going to spend several years making up for the disconnect of kids from school because of COVID, and everything that we can do to support kids, schools and families is just going to help a little bit more," she said during a press conference.

The money comes from the Pandemic Emergency Assistance Funds set aside by the federal government in last year's American Rescue Plan Act. The District was awarded nearly $15 million.

"I can't really think of a better investment than in helping young people kick off the school year right," Bowser said.

The mayor said the funds will give families an extra "cash bump" during a busy time of year when many expenses -- new uniforms, haircuts, supplies -- hit all at once.

Although the funds are being referred to as a "back-to-school payment," Bowser said there are no restrictions as to how families spend the money.

"Quite frankly, they may need a family night out. And that's OK," she said.

As many as 15,000 families enrolled in the program will receive a payment by the end of August.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Julie Vennitti Botos via Imagn Content Services