Educators Pan GOP Tax Plan

Detractors fear the debt incurred by the GOP tax bill will lead to calls down the line for cuts in Social Security, Medicare and education. Photo Credit: noderog/iStockphotos

Suzanne Potter
California News Service

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Education experts are speaking out against the Republican tax plan that President Donald Trump is about to sign, saying it could lead to less money for schools and hurt working class families.

The bill permanently slashes corporate taxes from 35 to 21 percent and is projected by the Joint Committee on Taxation to drive up the deficit by $1.5 trillion.

A modest tax cut for middle class families will end in 2027.

Jane Hartley, a teacher from Costa Mesa, predicts her students’ families will lose out.

“It makes me livid that the tax cuts for the corporations will still be in place in 10 years, and yet most families’ taxes will have gone back up,” she states. “Meanwhile, we’re saddling our children with even more debt.”

Republican leaders argue that the tax cuts will juice the economy, creating more jobs and prosperity.

Opponents note that it could hurt consumers by driving up insurance premiums – once healthy young people are no longer required to buy coverage.

Hartley argues it will draw students away from public schools by allowing families to save money for private schools tax-free.

The bill also caps the amount of state and local taxes people can deduct off of their federal returns at $10,000.

California Federation of Teachers president Joshua Pechthalt says that will be a disincentive to buy a home and will make people less likely to support additional funds for schools.

“And the ripple effect will be to discourage the local and state taxes that our schools depend on,” he points out. “And so in the long run, our schools are going to be hurt and the top one percent who send their kids to private schools are going to benefit.”

Legislators did back off of two items important to the education community. Graduate students’ tuition waiver money will not be taxed, and teachers still will be able to claim a $200 deduction for school supplies that they buy for their classrooms.