This opinion article is by Leroy Tre’ Hutchins, Democratic member of the Cobb County Board of Education, representing Post 3
As a Cobb County School Board Member, I’ve worked for years as an advocate to empower our children and strengthen our schools. Cobb County has a long, proud tradition of community, constantly supporting each other in times of need and pushing for the change we want to see in our state. But the past 16 months have taken a devastating toll on our economy, and children, parents, and schools have felt these impacts the most. Families were already struggling to put food on the table, and when the pandemic hit Georgia, child hunger spiked. Every parent and educator knows that no child can learn – regardless of whether they are in the classroom or learning from home — if they don’t know when they’ll eat their next meal. That’s what makes the child tax credit program so monumental for working families and children.
This week, the families of 2.2 million children in Georgia received the second monthly installment of tax cuts from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan. 91% of Georgia families with children will benefit from $1,600 in tax relief per child through December, making it one of the largest-ever single-year tax cuts for families with children. The impacts this will have on poverty and child hunger cannot be overstated.
Experts estimate that the child tax credits will reduce Georgia’s overall child poverty rate from 13.6% to 5.9%, with the Black child poverty rate expected to decrease even more dramatically from 21.8% to 11.4% due to the tax cuts. Studies show that the child hunger rate has already dropped 24% nationally since the first child tax credit was distributed last month. With 31,380 hungry children in Cobb County even before the pandemic, the child tax credits are exactly the support children need as we work to rebuild a stable environment for their education.
Thanks to President Biden and Democrats, families that need help the most are getting it right in their bank accounts, and it’s building our economy back better from the bottom up and the middle out. As a father of three, I know exactly how difficult it can be to keep your family afloat during trying times, which is why this once-in-a-generation lifeline for parents and children is such an extraordinary effort. Families in Cobb County and across Georgia will feel the overwhelmingly positive effects of these life-changing tax cuts for generations.