Teachers sound off on potentially losing classroom supply tax deduction

The tax plan approved by the House would eliminate the “educator expense deduction” which allows teachers and administrators to deduct up to $250 for out-of-pocket expenses used in their classrooms and schools. The Senate is considering doubling the education tax deduction to $500, but educators are very concerned about the possibility of losing this tax deduction, especially while the GOP tax plan provides very large deductions for wealthy individuals and corporations. Here is some of what they had to say.

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96 percent of WEAC local recertifications pass

Ninety-six percent of 2017 recertification elections for WEAC locals passed this fall, results released Tuesday by the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission show. The overwhelming support for local unions to be recognized by the state as the bargaining agent in their districts mirrors similar results in these elections since 2011.

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95 percent of Wisconsin public school districts meet or exceed expectations in new statewide ‘report card’

“On one hand, the vast majority of parents choose public schools for their students, and more than 95 percent of districts are meeting or exceeding expectations set forth on the report cards,” said WEAC President Ron Martin. “On the other hand, there is a troubling number of voucher schools still unaccountable for performance – even though private school tuition is paid for by taxpayers. If Wisconsin is serious about school performance, legislators should focus and invest in the public schools that serve the majority of students instead of siphoning public school funds off to private voucher schools.”

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Republican tax plan is ‘giveaway to wealthiest paid for by students and working families’

The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday approved a multi-trillion dollar tax plan that funds tax breaks for the wealthiest and corporations on the backs of students and working families. The bill, championed by Republican leaders, eliminates a popular tax deduction that allows educators to deduct up to $250 of the money they spend on their classrooms and students. The bill also expands a tax loophole for the wealthiest to pay for private school expenses while cutting tax deductions for the middle class. The elimination of most of the state and local tax deductions would blow a hole in state and local revenue to support public education and risk funding for nearly 250,000 education jobs, including 4,680 in Wisconsin.

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Wisconsin’s anti-collective bargaining law has significantly lowered teacher pay, increased teacher turnover rates and likely harmed student achievement, new study finds

“As a result of Act 10, teachers receive significantly lower compensation, turnover rates are much higher, and teacher experience has dropped significantly,” Wisconsin Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling said at the release of a new study that documents how the 2011 anti-collective bargaining law has harmed Wisconsin. “Rather than encouraging the best and the brightest to become teachers and remain in the field throughout their career, Act 10 has demonized and devalued the teaching profession and driven away many teachers.” The study was released by the Center for American Progress.

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Legislative Update – November 13, 2017

A sparsity aid package designed to help rural schools won’t clear the house in this session, the Assembly Majority Leader told a statehouse insider news publication. The $9.7 million package would have provided rural districts with 745 students or less with $400 per pupil through sparsity aid rather than the current $300. There also would have been a second tier in the program for districts with between 746 and 1,000 pupils of $100 per student.

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Nearly 250,000 education jobs at risk if Congress eliminates state and local tax deduction

As part of its $5 trillion tax plan giveaway to the wealthiest and corporations, the U.S. House Republican leadership bill eliminates most of the state and local tax deduction (SALT). Its elimination could blow a hole in state and local revenue to support public education and put nearly 250,000 education jobs at risk, according to a detailed analysis by the National Education Association. In Wisconsin, that would put 4,680 educator jobs in jeopardy and risk the loss of $4.6 million in support of public elementary and secondary schools over the next 10 years.

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Americans over age 60 fastest growing demographic for student loan debt

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s “Snapshot of Older Consumers and Student Loan Debt”, the age demographic in which student loan debt is increasing fastest is Americans over the age of 60. Factors for the explosion of debt in this group, according to the report, include it taking longer for borrowers to repay their loans and more parents and grandparents borrowing to help finance higher educations for their children or grandchildren.

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7 out of 10 school referendums pass

Voters on Tuesday approved seven out of 10 school referendums throughout Wisconsin. Referendums were approved in Barneveld (2), Cochrane-Fountain City, Florence, Princeton, Three Lakes and Union Grove. Referendums lost in Freedom (2) and Milton.

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