Saturday, September 18, 2004

No child left behind

According to CNN, an important tax break for teachers in California -- one that allows them to deduct the out-of-pocket cost of school supplies -- has just expired due to budget constraints. Across the nation, teachers are losing such tax breaks resulting in a net tax increase for one of the most important jobs in the country.

What I don't understand about this and have never understood is why teachers even have to pay their own money for school supplies. And why is it that in the wealthiest nation on earth, we force parents to pay for school supplies or rely on donations for school supplies? But that's beside the point.

What happened to "No child left behind"? I guess it's yet another great example of imposing standards on people that sound great on TV and expecting something from them without giving them the means to do succeed. It's like the myth that anyone can be successful and rich if they would just "bootstrap" themselves out of poverty.

Anyway, if you want to help, adopt a local school and if you can't afford to just give them money, ask what else you can do to help ease the burden on these teachers who are being asked to bear more of the cost for the nation's education (and future) than ever. Maybe Laura Bush will visit your school to tell you how important you are.

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