Back-to-School Buzzkill: North Carolina’s dwindling state funding for classroom supplies
North Carolina parents and teachers used to save an estimated $15 million on school supplies each year thanks to the state’s back-to-school sales tax holiday. Unfortunately, Republican lawmakers canceled it in 2013 in order to give huge tax cuts to millionaires and big corporations. Georgia and Tennessee held their sales tax holidays this past weekend, and South Carolina and Virginia are holding theirs next year. Some teachers and parents are even crossing state lines to save money on supplies!
- The average U.S. family spends up to $670 on back-to-school supplies each year. That means families who used to shop during the sales tax holiday are paying an extra $45 in taxes thanks to another tax hike on working families from the politicians in Raleigh. Meanwhile, a survey last year showed that teachers spend an average about $500 per year of their own money on classroom supplies.
- According to the Department of Public Instruction, the state budget for school supplies has been cut from $59 per student in 2008-09 to about $30 per student for the upcoming 2016-17 school year. Teachers are filling a funding gap created by politicians in Raleigh, and then teachers are paying higher taxes to fill that funding gap.
- North Carolina already ranks as the second-worst state to be a teacher, and we rank 46th in the country for per-student spending. Unfortunately, politicians in Raleigh are doing nothing to fix that. Teachers did not go into education for the money, but they did not take a vow of poverty either.
- Funding for proper classroom supplies is the responsibility of the state legislature and governor. It is not the responsibility of teachers, who are basically filling an irresponsible funding gap created by the politicians in Raleigh. And now the politicians are turning around and taxing the dedication and generosity of teachers who are using their own money to pay for classroom supplies which should be paid for by the state.
Bottom line: Where are the priorities? The sales tax holiday is just one example of politicians in Raleigh raising taxes on working families and starving public schools in order to give tax cuts to big corporations and the wealthy.
from: Progress North Carolina Action