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Teacher Tax Break?


How much do we value teacher quality? Not enough, argues Leo Hindery Jr. in this Education Week Commentary.

Unlike military personnel and homeowners, Hindery claims, teachers are not duly rewarded by the federal government for their contribution to the long-term social and economic well-being of our country. In keeping with our country's tradition of using the tax code to reward desirable social behaviors, he recommends K-12 teachers at accredited schools be given full exemption from federal income taxes.

What do you think? Would eliminating federal income taxes on the earnings of K-12 teachers be a good idea to pursue?


It would be nice to be acknowledged for the work we do but a greater concern for me is what happens when I retire. As a California teacher, I would settle for just getting the full social security I'm entitled to. I worked for it and should be entitled to receive all of it when I retire. Instead I will only get a percentage due to some archaic tax law calling it a "windfall". Retired military who go to work for Fed. Govt. "double dip" and no one has a problem with that, but somehow a teacher receiving the social security they have earned is considered overcompensation. I've been told this regulation has been recinded for many states and that it has something to do with a time when teachers in CA didn't pay state income tax. These conditions no longer exist and those who teach after having worked in the private sector should not be punished or have to choose between one benefit or the other.

Yes it would be a good idea to pursue eliminating Federal Taxes for teachers. We are in an under paid and under valued profession. In many states teachers are still barely above the poverty level especially in single income households. In a society where children are often not a priority, teachers are dealing with shrinking budgets, inadequate supplies and spending more of their own money to fill the gaps. A tax break from the Federal Gov may go a long way in acknowledging the importance of teachers and the important work we do everyday.

I believe that teachers should at least get reimbursed for 100% of the supplies they purchase throughout the year. As of now in my state we can write off a certain amount of what we spend on extra supplies, but it’s not enough to cover everything. There are so many ways to spice up your lessons for the benefit of motivating students, but many of them require teachers to float the bill. It is our responsibility to teach our students, but not our responsibility to pay for it out of our own pockets.

While I agree that we teachers (I am a speech-language pathologist who provides special education serivces to students with communication disabilities in the public schools) should get a better tax break than the one we get now, I feel the need to set the record straight. Mr. Hindery is mistaken if he believes that US Military personnel do not pay federal , and in most cases, state) income taxes. My husband retired from the Army as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1997. We paid income taxes for the entire time (22 years) he was "commissioned"( we were married for most of his military career, save a few months). I am so tired of hearing the ERRONEOUS idea that we did not pay taxes!!! We also paid federal income tax during the 10-1/2 years ( 3 different assignments) that we were stationed overseas. (unlike many Americans who "work abroad" for private companies or contractors). We also paid state taxes to Massachusetts for many years, even thought we never lived there after my husband went on active duty & we were married shortly thereafter. (until we changed our state of residence officially). (We & our parents paid state taxes there when we were employed in that state, my husband during his high school,college & summer jobs, & I during my college & summer jobs)before graduation from college. Sorry, but this kinda hit the wrong nerve!!! I have not read his enitre article, but I will do so tomorrow.
I might add, rather than a tax break I would like a GUARANTEE of a decent, basic workspace & the necessary BASIC resources that I need to do my job, rather than having to spend muy personal income & energies struggling to obtain the materials & space that I need to adequately serve my students and perform my complex & heavy job responsibilities, without having to worrry about "reprisals" for voicing my concerns & frustrations, or having to consider filing an OCR complaint. WHEW! nuff said...guess I might suggest another "discussion" for a future article!

I spent 20 years in the Military, and I paid taxes!! The only time I did not pay taxes was when I was in a combat zone. I feel that as a citizen of our country, I should enjoy the rights and share in the responsibilities that are required. I feel that I should pay my fair share of taxes, but I feel that I should be reimbursed for the expenses required for my job. Currently my school system allots $100.00 per year for supplies, we must purchase them from contract companies which charge much higher prices than a local company. This causes my wife, who is also a teacher and I to spend thousands of our personal funds for the supplies and materials required for effective instruction. In order to advance ourselves we are also spending thousands of dollars on college tuition. I feel it would be fair if teachers were allowed to take 100% of their expenses and were offered an assistance on college tuition for self improvement.

My father, as a minister, has not paid federal taxes. I see similar skills, commitment, and impact made in society, and a similar income level. We know it is unlikely that salaries will increase, so why not look for a way to increase benefits?

I think it should be extended to college educators as well. Usually we hold more education than many public school teachers but our salaries are not commensurate with public schools because it is expected that we have Ph.D.
degrees in order to get our jobs.

Well, I too spent 21 years in the Military and I only got tax breaks when I served in a combat zone. Those tax breaks were only on my federal return. I still had to pay state taxes, which I think was unfair. Oh well so much for the past. Now let's look at the present and future for teachers/educators. I think we would be asking too much to ask the federal government to exempt educators from federal taxes. As a US citizen I feel that we teachers should be shinning examples to our youth and paying taxes are but one thing that every citizen should do to enjoy the way of life we live in this wonderful country. Now for exemptions I would like to see more money put into what a teacher can deduct. Classroom supplies are always a concern. There never seems to be enough money for classroom supplies so teachers will provide what they can to insure there student's needs are met. Sometimes teachers are forgot about when we see wonderful experiences in the classrooms of America. Where did the money come from? Well in my classroom, to the dismay of my wife, from my own pocket. Too bad, the school district do not have enough money to encourage excellence in education!I do feel it would be fair if teachers were allowed to take 100% of their expenses and were offered an assistance on college tuition for self improvement.

I firmly believe everyone should pay taxes, and a lower flat rate would fairer than the system we have now. No deductions. No social security offset that takes our money and then tells us because we changed states, we don't have a right to what we paid for. This law penalizes only women, because most men change jobs after 30 years and then get both. We won't discuss those who work a few years in this country and draw benefits. Districts should provide budgets suitable that teachers do not have to spend their own money to buy supplies. Salaries should be higher, but the country does not value those who educate their children as highly as they do those who do their plumbing.

I never understood the concept of payinf taxes on taxes anyway. All of our income is derived from taxes - why should we be taxed on top of it?

It would also be a method of raising teacher pay without finding new funding.

It's a bit off-track, but since moving to Texas from California my pay has decreased enough that I am now being paid at federal poverty levels, so all taxes that are taken out are refunded to me at the end of the year anyway.

I have a slightly different set of concerns. Taxes have gotten out of hand overall and simply exempting teachers from federal income tax will only bring a world of resentment from parents and those who daily face the working world without the safety net that teachers have. Sorry - we all know that we have far more job security than the parents of most of our students. A complete tax system overhaul is the real answer.

In my community, there is already frustration about local property taxes. The school systems tax heavily and the majority of the local tax bill is for schools. People with no children are not happy about this burden, although they are able to justify the costs associated with a better school system.

Teachers cannot dodge the burdens that the rest of the American populace face without drastically harming their profession. This is a hornet's nest beyond belief!

I think this is well worth while. As many before me have pointed out, teachers are given so little official recognition , this would be great. If a minister pays no taxes, it is a president setting example for teachers.

The taxing the taxes argument works also.

It is absolutely a way to increase teacher salaries without increasing taxes (although, the loss of revenue will have to be made up somewhere.

I am, like Cristina, also VERY concerned about the social security mess. I earned my social security when I worked in New York State. Teachers paid into the system like anyone else. Now I am in Ohio where I do not pay in, but I will still lose a large percentage of my social security when I retire. NOT FAIR!

Comparing teachers pay to military personnel is another case of apples and oranges. Teachers do not have access to subsidized housing nor free medical care nor cheaper groceries. Instead of being paid while we are trained, we pay, often for many years of our career, for our training. We do not receive hazardous duty pay for working in hostile environments, and we do not have a way to advance other than in a very limited field of administration, which requires more unpaid training and a complete move away from what we do best.
As an Oklahoma teacher of 25 years, I would welcome any help. It certainly doesn't come from our elected state officials, who use education and teachers themselves as a political tool for deal-making and/or gaining recognition or notoriety, in some cases.
A teaching career is fine as a second income, but as a single parent existing on teacher pay, my children were eligible for reduced lunches. Another factor is that because we are largely a rural state, my commuting costs have always been a disproportionate expense, fully a fourth or more of my take-home pay.
In my long career, I have heard many impassioned pleas and promises for improvement for teachers, and what always results is a minute gain and a lot more hoops to jump through in order to do a job no one but a teacher would want.

I think a break for us is a nice idea. However, I am so skeptical of these types of ideas. To me, it would just be yet another way our pay scales could be reduced. The general public believes we are getting overpaid as it is with our summers off and other holidays/staff development, etc. To my face people will say that teachers are underpaid for what we do everyday, but, that doesn't transfer at the legislature. I guess I would be happier to pay my fair share of taxes if I got my fair share of salary. I, like almost all of my colleagues, have advanced degrees. ALL of us have to have supplementary income to make ends meet.

I think this does not go far enough. What about the preschool teachers who spend even larger amounts of their income on supplies for the children they work with? What about the Community College Faculty? What about University Faculty? Teachers at all levels make less than the comparably educated cohort. We all subsidize education with our poor salaries.

Sounds cute and it will surely buy some votes from the more gullible in my profession, but the first response from Ms. Allen(above)is quite relevant. Here in Illinois, not only are we robbed of better than half of our social security vestiture(hah!), paid into from non-teaching jobs, but for the past two years the governor has curtailed a billion dollars of mandated(hah!)state payments into the state retirement funds(includes all pub. schl. tchrs in the state). Rather than political "jawboning" about tax exemptions(would NEVER happen anyway), please, simply keep hands off the pension "trust(hah!)funds" that I was forced, by government, to pay into during my years of employment. Such pension fund robbery in my state is so serious that, 7 months ago, the funds had to start selling off the assets(investment holdings that earn the interest that replenishes the funds) to pay the obligations of the funds! All during our careers, teachers were told not to "whine" for more salary because our pensions, that we paid into, would be "there" for us. My advice to today's teachers is to turn off the speeches about "tax exemptions" and other undeliverable schemes. Then, organize and yell your lungs out for higher salaries. Get your rewards NOW. Who knows what will be "there" for you when you retire. Sorry to be crass, but "professional reserve and moderation" do not pay the bills.

It will improve recruitment and keep more teachers teaching instead of going into administration and early retirement.

I agree with Ms. Allen that I would like to stop the California "windfall" Idea and let all teachers gain from what them made independently or prior to becoming a teacher. Regarding the teachers not paying Federal income tax, I feel we should contribute to the government, but get social security, larger class room expense deductions and free retirement medical.
This is a job where everyday one must give their all.I would like to feel that at least my retirement is secure. .

I think this is a revolutionary idea. We are going to need incentives like this to draw capapble, talented people into the profession. Teaching is getting tougher and tougher particularly in public schools that have high numbers of at-risk students and districts are getting less able to provide salaries that entice gifted people. Not having to pay all or a portion of taxes would be one way to increase teachers' incomes and including some additional incentive to remain in the profession as well as work hard to increase student performance.

As it stands in my district, no additional reward is offered to teachers who toil daily in community schools with 500-700 students in bands of poverty, special education, or ESL, yet NCLB expects us to maintain the same level of achievement and keep highly qualified staff.

Hooray for those who thought of this idea and blessings to any organizations that promote it.

Taxing the taxes? If we excluded taxes for everyone who's income came from taxes, that would exclude all military, all Federal and State government employees, all police, teachers, firefighters. This would be a huge portion of the population. Exactly who would pay the taxes that pay your salaries. What an absurd idea.

As an aside, doctors contribute good to society, So do businessmen, McDonald workers, and ditch diggers. It takes an appalling sense of self entitlement to suggest that educators are somehow more deserving...jeez, the military pay state and federal taxes, get very poorly paid, and willing lay down their lives.

As a noneducator, hearing this kind of talk perpetuates the nonteacher stereotype that educators are a class of people who make a fair living, have an unusual degree of job security, and an appalling sense of self entitlement. These types of proposals don't do you any favors with the public.


This is a no cost for additonal funding or need for local levy passage to fund solution.

This idea would help us retain valuable teachers who otherwise must leave the profession for livable wages to support their families.

I think that we need to start thinking of teachers a humanitarian workers. Especially those who work in the very schools that are in the press everyday. Inner-city and urban situated schools often face issues that put teachers' work and safety in jeapordy. Nowhere in the contract does it say that you will work in environments without basic resources and where your students may carry weapons to be used against each other and possibly you. This is NOT teachers work, or at least, should NOT be teachers concerns.
So yes, a tax break would be great. Allowing us to have more cash upfront to invest in our own futures. But only those teachers who work in schools that struggle. There should not be breaks for teachers in wealthy suburban districts who make 10s of thousands more than city or rural workers.

There are many issues that need to be resolved in the education field from funding to offering vocational training to students who do not have college plans. I would prefer compensation for my retirement years when I hope to be able to enjoy relaxing and doing things with my husband rather than working a part time job to ensure that we can cover our monthly expenditures. Not having enough credits to draw social security when I have been paying social security taxes for 20 years seems kind of ludicrous.

Yes, yes a resounding yes teachers if not exempt from paying taxes should only pay a 5%. The promise to undergraduates pursuing a teaching certificate that their student loans will be paid off within five years is a lie when it is only the Perkins Loan which is typically the smallest with the lowest interest rate. The government paying my Perkins does not help as much when my largest school loan bill is subsidized and unsubsidezed loans.

Yes indeed for the Federal Tax Exemption on all personnel in the teaching profession, including classified employees, teachers and administrators. Moreover, it would be more equitable and salable to provide other benefits that are more critical to the recruitment and retention of school employees, ie., affordable housing with appropriate financing discounts, incentives and terms for teachers, administrators and school employees. For example a zero interest loan on a maximum of $400,000, with zero down for up to the first 5-7 years of teaching would be a good start. Builders, developers, realtors, mortgage brokers, and bankers would receive federal/state tax credits for substantially discounting or underwriting the high and unaffordable housing costs in large urban cities. As a 34 year veteran educator and retired Superintendent of Schools, I am now serving as a Licensed Realtor in Ft. Lauderdale and working to push many of these initiatives through our local Board of Realtors. Si Se Puede!

I think this would be an excellent idea and incentive to garner more interested and qualified personnel to the field of teaching. Consider that most teachers attend a four year college/university, pursue one or more graduate degrees, and still make well below the mean average for other highly qualified professionals who must have further study to perform in their careers (lawyers, physicians, business professionals), the exemption from federal taxes would begin to put teacher income on a more equal footing with these other professionals.

While I appreciate the recognition that teachers deserve a better salary to attract and hold onto talented and able individuals I do not agree that being exempt from taxes is the answer. Every citizen should pay a fair tax; and that's a topic for another discussion.
There needs to be be a better market driven method of paying teachers a salary that attracts and holds onto more of the best.

I am retired military, and I face a different kind of Social Security problem. I will take a major hit because my school district is one of those that elected to end Social Security participation a few years ago. Since I will have not paid into Social Security the time I teach until I retire from teaching, I will not qualify to stop the offset. The officer I replaced took over an $800 a month hit on his Social Security Payments.

I would support something in the tax break if it was directed at the shortage subject areas and in the high need school districts. I keep hearing all about how the teaching profession is about the children, but very few are willing to make the sacrifices on equal pay footings for the depressed schools and high need subject areas. It is time to face the fact that equal pay will not get more teachers into the needed subject areas or the depressed schools that need better teachers.

Brian Knox

Just what this country does not need is another log to fuel the huge national debt that we are passing along to several generations to come. The message sent to kids is that paying taxes is bad. I feel priviledged to be part of this country, even though I thoroughly disagree with the current administration and I'm embarassed daily by our president! We are being bankrupted by the Bin Ladin camp and the hand basket is being woven by our dubious leaders.

I believe ALL teachers of accredited schools should get tax breaks. Children from 0 weeks to kindergarten are learning too. In fact, those are the most formidable years.

This is a splendid idea, but let's extend it to include even all their retirement income until they finally die. This might be a big enough PERK!! to get more people to enter the teaching field.......knowing all the abuse they must absorb from parents and administrators.

Since we are the poorest paid "professionals" it would be great not to have to pay Federal Income Tax. It would be one way to "raise our substandard" pay without costing the local taxing districts any more money. Maybe more people could actually afford to go into teaching!

Anyone view the "Stupid in America" program?

C'mon, total tax exemption for government-employed teachers? Leslie Brown is right about how taxpayers would react, except for understating it! Tax code change is much more likely to go the opposite way, to treat the full price of "free" public school education as taxable income to the recipient, based on actual weighted FTE for that pupil or perhaps average pupil cost. Every adult enrolling a child in any public school would have to add this amount to the family's 1040 income, which will increase the total amount owed by thousands. Home education would become a tax haven and it would be the final push into private programs for anyone able to pay tuition, leaving taxpayer-provided schooling as the true charity-welfare we've been complaining it already is.

As a parent with a background in science, I am continually amazed at the lack of factual information on which to base opinion regarding all school-related issues. Teachers in my district want to have benefits comparable to all other Masters-level fields and professions? My husband has a degre in organizational development- last year he worked 3422 hours to earn his pay. No overtime. Compensation for laptop hours at home? Phone calls to and from China? Injet cartridges for our home printer? None of that is compensated. Not in this business climate. Many of our friends in business are in foreclosure. We pay $483/month for Health insurance. Our teachers currently pay $520/year.I have been waiting to read the actual number of hours teachers put in- yearly total. Our district has 168 days of class-in-session time and perhaps 8-10 PD days. Tenured teachers in our district are the fifth highest paid in the state- but no one ever tells parents what that scale actually is.... Does anyone out there have solid data? Specific data? I know that Research Associates and Assistants in the Medical field start at about $20K and top off at $50 after ten or fifteen years. How about a genuine comparison- apples to apples?

I don't know about everyone else, but I put in 8 hours on the clock, and I stay after for another 2 to prepare for my IPC classes, then I go home and grade papers/tests/lab reports for another 2 hours at minimum. I have to be here for teacher work days, and I begin my year two full weeks before my students ever arrive. I have never done the math on that because I'm afraid of what the numbers will show, and if I broke that down into being paid "by the hour" it would be pathetic. I am paid at base level with no stipends, even though science is in high demand. Frankly, a tax break would be a welcome change for me, especially since I had to turn down health insurance so I could actually "bring home" $1000 a month.
I was also in the military. I was taxed all over the world. I don't believe the suggestion above mentioned anything about taxes though. The federal gov't supplied my housing and paid all the bills connected to that (except my phone bill). I could eat for free in the mess hall when I chose to... I rewarded the federal gov't by laying down my life when they chose for me to do so. I considered that equal pay both ways.
Back to school reform... Tax-free pay would be a better incentive for bringing in new teachers, definitely. It would be a big incentive for retaining teachers who are on the fence about leaving. But everyone knows that none of us are here for the pay. I'd teach for free. In fact, when looking at the hours I commit, I probably do.

By the way, parent, I've never seen "Stupid in America." I don't have time to watch TV.

Last year, the last of my 3 kids (dependents)left home, 2 of whom are now teachers. After paying in $9000 in withholding for federal taxes, the government made me totally empty my savings account. I had $6,000 that my wife and I had saved from our teacher salaries. My additional tax liability was $5,760. Now I'm broke, the debt that I was going to pay off will continue to be paid one month at a time and now they tell that even though I worked and paid into the social security system for 15 years, I won't even get that when I retire. Something needs to give. I've been offered a job in the private sector making 6 figures, way more than double what I make now. If something doesn't happen pretty soon, I'm going to have to give it more than casual consideration.

Tax breaks are given to companies with political ties. Apparently the business of educating our youth is not that important. It's more fun for politicians to "use" educators as political footballs than to support them!

I recently was asked to add up my time worked beyond school hours...it averaged 18-20 hours per month, and that is only the time spent staying late after school, not the time I spend ignoring my family at home to get something designed, corrected, or data entered.

The least every level of government could do is eliminate income tax for PreK-12 teachers, both Federal and State! I would still want to pay into the SS system, so I can claim my fair portion when I retire. But I would rather not pay income tax.

Not paying income tax would reimburse me for my vast amounts of unpaid time, the unreimbursed supplies, materials and equipment use beyond the current $250 limit, and make me feel appreciated for not only being "highly qualified" to teach content, but trying to raise someone else's kids for them.

Dear Parent,

Teachers are not working in an office. Most teachers do not get to meet with students and nurture them one-on-one; teachers have at least 18, usually 25 students or more sitting in front of us. Teachers must deliver content, and simultaneously analyze how each student is comprehending and retaining that information, then adjust our delivery on the fly.

Teachers must do this so expertly that over 90% of our students (and more each year!) pass three brutally long tests, which may or may not mention the literature, examples and historical figures we taught to our class.

$3 an hour per kid is standard for babysitters (7 hours x $3 x 18 kids for 180 days (the minimum in NY and NC) = $68,040!!!), yet a starting teacher in North Carolina - with a Master's degree - gets $28,890. Please note that a $321 per month insurance policy is included in this, but that it has high enough deductibles and copays that we are essentially paying for the policy, so I will not add that to the salary figure.

Please also note that the figure I supplied from the babysitter calculation does not include time spent after school, "laptop time" you called it, nor the fact that we are actually providing your child with essential knowledge for living that parents are not willing or able to provide. It also does not include required workays, conference time, summer planning for the next school year, moving furniture, cleaning our classrooms, maintaining equipment, and being trained for emergencies like Columbine.

We are not just crunching numbers or filling out forms or writing reports, we are doing that AND making difficult decisions which may affect the outcome of a child's life in the face of nearly unachievable standards.

As far as "this business climate," schooling is not a business. Businessman Taylor got his hands on the education system during the Industrial Age and it has been screwed up since. Schooling is a creative, organic process that deserves respect and support.

And so do the teachers that provide it.

Shame on Mr. Hindery for perpetuating the myth that low pay discourages the “best and the brightest” from entering the teaching profession! What does this say about those that are teaching now? That they are the “dull and the stupid”? Come on! Sure, there are plenty of well educated folks out that that will not consider the teacher profession because of the low pay but my guess is that there are other disincentives to teaching that are much more salient in their minds. We all know that teaching take a certain kind of person—at least to do it well. We also know that it is a hard job that often requires long days teaching and grading papers and often time away from family and friends on the weekend prepping classes. Perpetuating the stereotype that these teachers are not the “best and the brightest” makes this work all the harder as they have to content with parents, legislators, academicians, people like Mr. Hindery, and potential funders (among others) who nearly uniformly take the stance that they, rather than teachers, know best how to teach.

Having said that, I would most certainly support any legislation that provided better pay and better working conditions for our teachers. You can read more of my rant at http://school-funding.blogspot.com/


I'm against it for many reasons, but the most important reason is because the educators in my neck of the woods don't need it. They are highly paid with many earning six figure incomes. Assistant Superintendent for business, assistant superintendent for Human Resources, athletict directors, school principals, all easily earn greater than $150k. In my region superintendents earn a minimum of $200k and many earn greater than $300k. Many experienced teachers earn $100k plus, and the less experienced are at a minimum of $50k. Finally, educators do not deserve special privledges in our society. They should do as the rest of us are required to do, and that is to leave their jobs for better paying ones if they are not satisfied with the ones they have.

My father, a former teacher, who would have been well into his 90's by now, told me several times that teachers used to be exempt from income tax, but it turned out to be politically untenable.

I think everyone who earns income shoul;d pay income tax. If taxes are eliminated for anu select group, this is unfair to other groups. Most schools enjoy a tax-free status by being non-profit, bu teachers are employed for salaries and should be taxed like other citizens. It would certainly not make teachers more appreciated to be given a tax break. We are already seen as overpaid by most people outside the profession and the fact that the typical public school teacher actually works what amounts to six months of the year, 180 days, does not go over well with many taxpayers. We, the people tend to see things most often froma personal perspective. To be truely fair, noone should have to pay taxes and certainly noone should have to pay for something as basic as healthcare, kind of like congress.

Leslie Brown and R. Frangione couldn't have said it better. In addition, as far as the commments about keeping (or getting) the best and brightest,tax cuts won't guarantee this. In many cases it will help keep people who aren't good teachers, and they are out there, in the education career, not because of their knowledge or know-how to teach, but because of this perk.

I would like to know, why didn't the Head Start Teacher's get the $100 Gift card? Are we not teacher? Do you think we don't have to take money out of our pockets to buy school supplies for our classroom? Some of your Head Start teachers do not make as much as the Pre K Teachers, But we are there everyday too. Head Start Teacher are not Baby-sitter. We are trying to give children a head start is education and teacher a child how to play with their peers and to work with others.

I was sitting here reading some of the comments on here. Do you know if it was not for your teachers, where would you be. Would some of you be making the money that you are making. You see that is the problem now. If we would put more money on the Education and Theaching our children this world would be a better place. The children of today will someday be running this country. If you dont take time now to work with and be apart of it now, when you are in your 60's and up do you think these same kids you turn your back want turn their backs on you.

Many teachers, especially those working in Urban areas, spend 20 to 40% of their salaries to purchase needed school supplies and equipment for their students.

I was in the military and then a military wife for 12 years. My son is currently serving in the military. I am currently a teacher at an inner city school. I would like to reiterate that military personnel DO pay state and federal taxes. Many times they are double taxed by states. If the spouse holds a job in one state and the military persons home state is another, the total income is taxed by both states. (we had our taxes done by a professional). We were also eligible for free/reduced lunches for our children, so that gives you an idea of how much my husbands income was. Should teachers receive a tax break in the form of not paying taxes? No, I don't believe so. If we get the break then all other gov't employees should receive one too. I agree with those above that have stated that a break on additional classes or assistance with furthering our education in the form of higher degrees would be great. I would also like the 100% reimbursement for expenses to the classroom. My district does not adequately compensate teachers who obtain higher degrees and as a second career for me, why would I want to bother when I am looking to retire in 10 or so years? Economically it is not worth it to me.

This would be MORE taxpayer funded subsidies only benefitting some. Many people already pay taxes for (public) schools they don't use, and now we have to subsidze the expense of the school even further? If we need to raise the pay, raise the pay. What is the benefit of messing with the tax code? I wonder if the whole problem is PUBLIC schools?

As a Homeschool Teacher and single Mom, I still have to pay taxes on my income and I do not get a tax break for all the "school supplies" I purchase.
I do feel that Teachers are not paid enough but giveing a tax break is not the answer. Over hauling the public school system is what is needed. Lets think outside the box....that is why I homeschool.

I am a teacher who for the past 34 years have seen the downs of taxes and the support form the goverment. My budget has not changed for the past 25 years in buying supplies. Supplies cost more. I cant buy as many items as needed with the class sizes getting larger and standards changing. Yet the state requires us to meet the State Standards.
It would be to the states interest to show that the teaching profession is one the goverment is proud to support. Yet many young teachers are finding that after 5 years of college they not only live in a poverty salary scale, but they are required to spend their money for the class or classes they are teaching. Its to bad that ( The Year of Education) has gone to deft ears once again.

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