NEA says students and working families may be hit hardest by Republican tax plan
By: Susan Conte, Xiro Xone News January 2, 2018 Updated: 4:01 PM PT
When Congressional Republicans approved a massive tax plan which has most of the plan providing tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and corporations, with economic experts saying the could add more than $1 trillion to the nation’s debt.
Now the National Education Association (NEA) has said the partial elimination of state and local tax deductions will put in jeopardy the ability of states and local communities to fund public education, potentially risking state funding for more than 130,000 education jobs.
NEA President Lily Eskelsen García said, “Hypocrisy is at the heart of the tax bill approved by Congressional Republicans. It reveals the ill-conceived and misguided priorities of Republican leaders in Washington. It is nothing more than a massive transfer of wealth – a giveaway to corporate special interests and the wealthy paid for by working families and students.
“The tax bill is misguided because expanding education tax loopholes—vouchers for the rich—to allow wealthy families to stash away money for private school will hurt students and neighborhood public schools.
“The hypocrisy at the heart of the tax bill is unmistakable. The bill largely eliminates state and local deductions for working people but keeps it for corporations. Millions of hard working people will see their taxes increase. On top of it all, this bill will take away health care coverage for 13 million Americans and cause premiums to spike for millions more. In the end, this disastrous bill will push crushing debt and tax increases onto the middle class while Medicare, Medicaid, and education will take the brunt of the cuts.
“Public schools have not fully recovered from the Great Recession. Now, by eliminating the state and local tax deduction, Congress just voted to blow a hole in state and local revenue to support public education, potentially risking the jobs of more than 130,000 educators, exposing public school students to serious and potentially damaging consequences—ballooning class sizes and overcrowded classrooms that deprive students of one-on-one attention.
"It is deeply disappointing that too many members of Congress chose to stand with corporate special interests and the wealthy, instead of with working families and students. The choice they made today was the wrong one for our nation and will be disastrous for our students.”
Republicans lawmakers passed the bill without the votes from Democrats despite warnings from the non-partisan Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, in a report titled “A Punishing Decade for School Funding,” that public investment in K-12 schools has declined dramatically in a number of states over the last decade.