MADISON, Wis.— Today, Opportunity Wisconsin released a report summarizing the provisions of the American Rescue Plan that help Wisconsin families the most, including a program that will massively reduce child poverty.

“Wisconsin families have been hit hard by the pandemic and the American Rescue Plan addresses those hardships while making historic investments in the fight against child poverty,” said Meghan Roh, Opportunity Wisconsin Program Director. “The American Rescue Plan puts money in the hands of struggling families, shores up child care facilities, and gives much needed resources to our schools.”

On Wednesday, Opportunity Wisconsin sat down with Senator Tammy Baldwin and Wisconsin parents to discuss the historic impact this law will have on children and families across the state.

When asked how additional financial support from the American Rescue Plan would impact her, Barbara Cerda, a Milwaukee area mother, responded, “I got my stimulus check this morning, and my first trip was to the gas station to fill up my tank. I had been putting in little bits at a time, and this morning I was able to fill up my tank…Long term, I can pay my rent for six months, I can use that money to fix my car that has been in my garage for the past four months. It means I can buy my children new clothes, we’ve been using our summer clothes.”  [WATCH]

The full report can be viewed here and is posted below:

Report: How the American Rescue Plan Helps Wisconsin Families

Child Tax Credit
For 24 years, the Child Tax Credit has provided assistance to low-income families and lifted millions out of poverty. The American Rescue Plan expands the Child Tax Credit to all children except those with parents earning the highest incomes. It also increases the benefit from $2,000 annually to up to $3,600 per child, delivered through monthly cash payments of approximately $300/month instead of annual payments.

Impact on Wisconsin

  • 1,159,000 Wisconsin children under 18 – 92% of all Wisconsin children – will benefit from the expansion of the Child Tax Credit.
  • The bill will lift 56 percent (94,000) of the Wisconsin children under 18 who are living in poverty closer to or above the poverty line and 27 percent (46,000) of Wisconsin children under 18 will be lifted out of poverty.

Child Care
The pandemic has exacerbated the desperate need for increased child care in America. That is why the American Rescue Plan includes funding for child care through the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) and Head Start, so that no parent has to choose between work and making sure their child is taken care of. 

Impact on Wisconsin

  • Wisconsin will receive $224 million in supplemental funding for the CCDBG and $358 million in Child Care Stabilization Grants. This money will go to helping low income families pay for child care and giving child care facilities the funding they need to remain open and safe.
  • Wisconsin will receive over $15.4 million in funding for Head Start programs. Head Start currently serves 15,441 Wisconsin children through 276 program locations.

We all want our children to return to the classroom and ensure their safety. That is why the American Rescue Plan includes over $125 billion in grants to our Wisconsin public schools to help them implement public health protocols, address learning loss, and help address long term mental and emotional challenges students might face after a year of online learning. Congress’  pandemic Electronic Benefit Program (p-EBT) program has also been expanded, so that no child goes hungry during the pandemic.

Impact on Wisconsin

  • Wisconsin will receive $1,540,785,000 for schools, including $77,039,000 to address learning loss and $15,408,000 for after school programs.
  • For the 2020-2021 school year Wisconsin planned to provide $328.2 million in p-EBT benefits to 438,000 children in school at about $35.9 million/month ($82 per child per month). Using these data, extending p-EBT for 438,000 children through three months of summer totals $107.7 million to ensure that Wisconsin children do not go hungry.

Rental and Housing Assistance
The pandemic has taken an incredible toll on renters and homeowners alike – 1 in 5 renters are behind on rent payments and 1 in 10 homeowners are behind on mortgage payments. The American Rescue Plan provides emergency rental and housing assistance to ensure that families can keep a roof over their heads as they navigate the pandemic. This assistance is particularly important for families, as households with children face higher levels of hardship.

Impact on Wisconsin

  • 10 percent of Wisconsinites – 126,000 people – are behind on rent payments and 29 percent – almost 2 million people – are having trouble covering household expenses. The ARP will make it easier for families to cover those expenses, providing $306,000,000 in emergency rental assistance to Wisconsin families.

$1,400 Rescue Checks
The American Rescue Plan includes a third round of relief checks for the American people. Every American earning under $75,000 per year will receive a check, including dependents. That means families will receive $1,400 for each child. A family of four could receive up to $5,600. 

Impact on Wisconsin

  • 2,722,268 households in Wisconsin will receive a check, for a total of $6,981,675,000 in rescue checks.
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