Wednesday, September 15, 2004
Why Is It...
This article just makes you wonder what we're thinking about as a country.
Teachers Lose Tax Breaks for SuppliesIt's just pathetic how we treat the people who teach our children.
By ANDREA ALMOND, Associated Press Writer
Because of a budget crunch, California has suspended a tax credit that reimbursed teachers up to $1,500 for classroom supplies. Meanwhile, a $250 federal tax deduction for teachers that helped defray out-of-pocket spending expired this year.
For young teachers at the lowest end of the pay scale, the loss of the tax credits is particularly hard.
"The end of the tax benefits is effectively a tax increase for teachers — people who spend thousands of their own dollars each day for their classrooms and who don't deserve a tax increase," said Barbara Kerr, president of the California Teachers Association.
Nationwide, teachers spent an average of $458 on school supplies, according to the National School Supply and Equipment Association, a Maryland-based trade group.
The National Education Association and some lawmakers are working to reinstate the federal teacher deduction, which was introduced in 2002 but expired at the end of 2003. Teachers are still entitled to write off business expenses, like other taxpayers, but the amount they spend often does not meet the threshold for taking a deduction.
By ditching its tax break, California joined most of the rest of the nation. National teacher organizations do not keep track, but it appears few states now offer teachers any relief at all.