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Teachers Get a Hard Lesson on State Budget

September 17, 2002

I think it's an interesting commentary on our social values that the only people who had their taxes raised during the recent state budget negotiations were schoolteachers.

The politicians in Sacramento would not raise taxes on the rich. They refused to raise taxes on car owners. They did not even raise taxes on smokers. But they suspended the teacher tax credit without discussion or controversy. This amounts to a tax increase of up to $1,500 for schoolteachers with four to 24 years of experience. Teachers with less than four years of experience had not even qualified for the promised tax credit yet.

Unveiled with great fanfare only two years ago, the teacher tax credit was supposed to attract new teachers to the underpaid profession and demonstrate to experienced teachers the value that our society places on them. Well, teachers now know where they really stand. At the back of the line behind rich people, car owners and smokers. Is anyone surprised by that?

John G. Roberts

Arcadia

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