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LAT: Teachers Lose (fed. and Cali st.) Tax Breaks for Class Supplies

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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-15-04 06:04 AM
Original message
LAT: Teachers Lose (fed. and Cali st.) Tax Breaks for Class Supplies
I'm embarrassed to say that until I read a recent post in GD, I had no idea teachers were buying classroom supplies with money out of their own pockets --


Teachers Lose Tax Breaks for Class Supplies
With spending slashed at schools, educators say it's a bad time to cut state and federal reimbursements.

By Erika Hayasaki, Times Staff Writer


....With the loss of state and federal tax breaks designed to repay the many teachers who buy their own classroom supplies, (Jennifer Gile, a teacher in the Redondo Beach Unified School District) and other educators across California say they have good reason to be more frugal.

Gile, who earns a little more than $48,000 a year, spends at least $2,000 of that on school supplies each year. She was counting on the state Teacher Retention Tax Credit, which repays teachers up to $1,500 in taxes, to cover some of those out-of-pocket expenses. But it was suspended last month under the state budget plan, for a savings of $400 million over two years.

Making money matters worse, a federal tax deduction for up to $250 for teachers' extra expenses expired this year.

Educators say it's a bad time to halt such tax breaks because school districts across the country have chopped spending for basic supplies like copier paper and tissues....

***

A survey conducted by the local union, United Teachers Los Angeles, showed that its members spent an average of $1,047 of their own money on school supplies last year. Across the country, the National School Supply and Equipment Assn. found that teachers spent an average of $458....


http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-supplies15aug15...

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NewHampshireDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-15-04 06:13 AM
Response to Original message
1. That really, really sucks ...
The NEA should give Ahnold a big "Cheney you" for 'balancing' CA's budgets on the backs of teachers.
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Solon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-15-04 06:14 AM
Response to Original message
2. This makes absolutely no sense...
I got tax deductions on gas when I transported interoffice mail for my company. I got tax deductions when working for an Ice Cream Truck company for both the Ice Cream and Gas. Supplies NEEDED for your job HAVE to be tax deductable or it is highway robbery, I think it is time for ALL the teachers in California and the rest of the country to STRIKE this year and shut down public schools NATIONWIDE until this is resolved in their favor, THIS IS OUTRAGIOUS.

BTW: THERE'S a MAXIMUM on expenses, what type of shit is that? There was no ceiling for my expenses at jobs that are MUCH lower on the ladder than our most valuable assets: teachers.
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Ilsa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-15-04 07:01 AM
Response to Reply #2
9. Yeah, you get a decent 30-something cents a mile if you are
Edited on Sun Aug-15-04 07:02 AM by Ilsa
on business, but only about 10 cents a mile if you are travelling for medical.

We actually had enough in unreimbursed medical expenses to deduct them when we itemized one year. But we had to shave off the first 7.5% of AGI, so out of $8,000 in doctor bills, our deduction (not a credit) netted us a whopping $250 in tax savings. Big freaking deal.

Our tax code is so unfair. People with health problems, teachers, etc, really get hammered.
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murielm99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-15-04 06:19 AM
Response to Original message
3. California teachers are not alone.
Many teachers buy their own supplies. Schools don't supply shit.

And many families can't afford to supply their kids with the basics for school. Teachers fill the gaps.

In my community we have a supply bank. Community members look at the supply lists and buy stuff to bring to school for those who can't afford them.
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mom cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-15-04 06:32 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. That is a great idea. Thanks.
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murielm99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-15-04 06:43 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. NP. It works pretty well here.
I don't have kids in school any more, but I can buy a few notebooks and pencils, throw in a calculator.

It is sort of like looking at the bridal registry when you go to buy a wedding gift. You can go to school, or call, to see what they still need.

We still manage to have music teachers here. The elementary kids need this funny little plastic instrument. I think it is called a sweet potato. They don't cost much, but I may donate a couple of those, too.

Our school registration costs have gone up. I think they are covering the people who never pay, because they are poor, or they just don't feel like it.
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lostnfound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-15-04 07:02 AM
Response to Reply #3
10. All inefficient though -- it's more expensive for individuals than volume
Edited on Sun Aug-15-04 07:05 AM by lostnfound
buys which can be negotiated and competitively bid. So instead of school districts buying at or near wholesale prices for large quantities, we have individuals (whether teachers or parents) paying retail price plus making special trips to buy & deliver.

Not to take away from the supply bank idea -- since the government isn't doing it what else can you do -- but this is just another example of Republicans (& short-sighted Democrats) ensuring inefficiency by shortchanging a government function.
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clydefrand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-15-04 06:34 AM
Response to Original message
5. I taught for 32 years and I know about buying supplies
for the classroom. Every teacher does it in this area and they never get reimbursed unless there are some rich PTA's that give teachers an allowance for buying supplies out of their own meager salaries. And believe me, their are great disparities among PTA's in this area from rich to poor. This is not new by any means. Teachers have been buying their own supplies for many, many years.
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sparrowhawk Donating Member (61 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-15-04 06:45 AM
Response to Original message
7. Thats really sad.
What a bunch of cheesy politicians. They should cut their own salaries.
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rogerashton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-15-04 06:46 AM
Response to Original message
8. Where is the headline that says --
Bush and Schwarzenegger increase taxes on teachers

?
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Democat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-15-04 12:43 PM
Response to Reply #8
14. The California media loves Arnold. If it was Davis, they would attack him!
That's the way the California media works.

They attacked Davis every day. Now they praise Arnold even more than they attacked Davis, sometimes for the exact same policies.
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goclark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-15-04 12:50 PM
Response to Reply #8
15. Yea, where is the headline!!!!


What a piece of crap ArnoldandBush are to children.

They will be losing teachers if they cut this write off.

The Meme should be " Leave Lots of Children AND Teachers Behind"


How in the world could anyone have voted for Arnold!!
Tell me why!
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nolabels Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-15-04 03:20 PM
Response to Reply #15
19. " Leave Lots of Children AND Teachers Behind"
Oh heavens, I can even hear them saying that
These effing low life's that corporate America has installed are just pathetic :argh:


http://www.hermes-press.com/brainwash1.htm
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Ilsa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-15-04 07:06 AM
Response to Original message
11. We have to haul so many supplies to school
Edited on Sun Aug-15-04 07:07 AM by Ilsa
that the schools invite us to come a few days early to unload all the stuff. I wish they'd buy it in bulk and bill us for it; they'd get a better deal on most of it.

Our PTA finally got enough money together to get our playground in compliance with ADA and IDEA so the handicapped kids could have the same recess as others. Yep, had to be from raising money from volunteer projects.

We try to buy our kids' teachers gift cards for CHristmas and end of school year. They can use them on themselves or for supply money.
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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-15-04 07:21 AM
Response to Original message
12. Adding recent NYT article re. educational groups mobilizing for election
Election Issue of Education Is Promoted
By DIANA JEAN SCHEMO

Published: August 12, 2004

WASHINGTON, Aug. 11 - A coalition of organizations, led by the nation's largest teachers union, introduced a campaign on Wednesday to mobilize opposition to the No Child Left Behind law, to demand more money for public schools and to raise the profile of education as an election issue.

Members of the coalition include the National Education Association, the teachers union, which has endorsed Senator John Kerry, the Democratic nominee, for president, and MoveOn.org, the 2.3 million-member Internet-based political movement that also backs Mr. Kerry. But it also includes groups like Acorn, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, and the Forum on Education and Democracy, which are more oriented toward policy.

The campaign, called the National Mobilization for Great Public Schools, came under attack from Congressional Republicans, but the coalition insisted that its effort was nonpartisan and that it would not endorse any candidate or party....

***

The groups plan to have thousands of supporters hold house parties on Sept. 22, at which they will show a video outlining their priorities for education. Mr. Borosage said meetings were also planned in schools, churches, libraries and workplaces....

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/08/12/education/12educ.html
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donco6 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-15-04 12:32 PM
Response to Original message
13. What a dumb area to cut.
Comparatively, what's this going to net for the state? And they'll certainly reap a lot of bad press when teachers stop buying supplies for their classrooms. People don't realize how much stuff they buy, and it's going to be noticed.

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goclark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-15-04 01:16 PM
Response to Original message
16. Tell every teacher that you know


Any teacher that votes for Bush is a fool.
In their defense, many will not even hear about this evil act.
So many teachers that I know don't go to Union meetings or the NEA.

They just keep doing their part everyday for their kids.
Some of the young ones don't even take the tax deductions, they just buy stickers and materials for the kids. They love their profession.

Send this to every young teacher that you know.

Another good group to hit with this would be those in college that a Education majors. Tell them please.
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slojim240 Donating Member (481 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-15-04 02:15 PM
Response to Original message
17. Yeah, we need tax breaks for Falwell's and Robertson's fund raisers.
make sure there are no tax breaks to anyone who really wants to help our children and other people.
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Mokito Donating Member (710 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-15-04 03:06 PM
Response to Original message
18. The really sick part is that it is not a grant or fund with which
they buy those school supplies. It's their own goddamn income! They are lterally paying their boss to be able to work.
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