How the child tax credit payments could boost student achievement

Written by on July 21, 2021

How the child tax credit payments could boost student achievement

By Chloe Nouvelle

July 21, 2021

Photo by Anita Jankovic on Unsplash

While the American Rescue Plan’s new child tax credit payments will likely help parents’ budgets this summer, research suggests they might also contribute to student achievement come fall. 

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Ed Fuller, director of the Center for Evaluation and Education Policy Analysis at Penn State University, said most researchers agree that direct support to low-income families helps students’ performance in school. 

“Almost everybody agrees now that putting money directly in the hands of parents,   particularly low-income parents, really boosts the achievement of children living in poverty,” Fuller said. 

But Fuller said this single policy likely won’t lead to a “gigantic boost” in performance because more substantial payments would be needed to close the “achievement gap” that has grown with the nation’s wealth gap.

“While schooling was long thought to eradicate the influence of family background and living in poverty, it just doesn’t,” Fuller said. 

According to the Department of Treasury, the average payment sent this month to qualifying families in Pennsylvania was $423. 

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