With so many students dependent on remote learning during the pandemic, some state lawmakers have crafted a bill that would allow parents to receive up to three months of paid leave to help their kids with online classes.

The bill from State Senator Robert Jackson and State Assemblymember Michaelle Solages, both Democrats, would allow parents up to 12 weeks of paid family leave at two-thirds of their take-home pay to assist their kids with remote learning at any point during the pandemic, and when their kids’ schools are closed for in-person learning. As an amendment to the state's existing family leave provision in New York, the funding would come from payroll deductions and applies to all companies with at least one employee.

The move is intended to ease the financial strain for working parents who may not have the flexibility during their workday to help with classes, and this category of paid time off must not be used for anything but remote learning. There is a similar provision in the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act, but that act will expire December 31st and only offers two weeks maximum of paid leave.

“This legislation eases the pressure on working parents,” Jackson said at a press conference Thursday.

Jackson’s chief of staff, Johanna Garcia, who has three teenagers, proposed the legislation after trying to juggle the different schedules for her family. “I'm a single mom of color and the brunt of this pandemic has been born mostly by single moms of color,” she said at the press conference. “This solution that we're talking about today would make it easier for working parents when it is really critical to the education of our children. The success of remote learning really, really relies on parents being involved as well.”

“My son is going to kindergarten right now and he's still remote so he's home,” Solages said at the press conference. “I'm trying to balance my career, the election, as well as ensure that you know he's sitting down and listening, which is always a challenge.”

The pandemic’s economic effects and closure of in-person schooling has had a devastating effect on women in particular. The New York Times has estimated that about 1.6 million mothers across the country have opted out of the labor force in September, “because of home/family care. By contrast, fathers’ labor force growth wasn’t any more sensitive to school closures than it was for childless men.”

Jackson and Solages’s bill was introduced as an amendment to the state’s family leave laws in September and is currently in committee.