With much talk about the recently-passed U.S. tax bill, I’ve been reading about its expected impact on public education. Unfortunately, it’s not friendly towards public education, to put it mildly, as one might have feared would be the case.
First, it will eliminate the State and Local Tax (SALT) deduction which, as I understand it, states have relied on heavily in order to fund schools. According to an article in the Washington Post, “states, counties and cities will have a tougher time raising money for schools — which get nearly all of their money from state and local tax revenues — because those taxes will no longer be fully deductible.”
The bill also favors those who send their children to private school by allowing parents to use 529 plans, originally usable only for paying for college, to pay private school fees.
And, what do you know, teachers who spend their own money on school supplies for their students will no longer be able to claim the $250 deduction that they have been able to claim for those expenses up until now. In 2017, teachers spent, on average, just shy of $500 on school supplies for their students ( https://thejournal.com/articles/2017/08/08/report-teachers-spend-up-to-5000-out-of-pocket-on-classroom-supplies.aspx ); at least they could deduct $250 of it, but no more.
Sadly, our new tax blow constitutes one more blow against an-already beleaguered public education system.