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Teachers Lose Their Tax Credit

August 21, 2004

Re: "Teachers Lose Tax Break for Class Supplies," Aug. 15: It is despicable that our governor and legislators have suspended the tax credit for teachers' purchases of class supplies. How on Earth does that "difficult decision" square with the governor and legislators' failure to completely close a loophole that allows the wealthy to purchase a luxury yacht without having to pay sales tax? I think our state lawmakers have missed the boat on this one.

It's bad enough that drastically shrinking school budgets have forced teachers to dig deep into their own pockets to provide a visually stimulating and rewarding classroom environment, but to suspend their small individual tax credit too? For shame!

Suzie Swartz

Mission Viejo

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The article on teachers losing their tax breaks for school supplies is supposed to evoke our sympathy. I have news for them: There are millions of families like my own that pay your salaries, yet don't earn $55,000 a year, or even $48,000, even with one full-time and one part-time worker.

Let's end this myth of "poor underpaid teachers."

Michael Klein

Santa Barbara

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Re: "Elementary Schools Post Lower Scores," Aug. 17: The budget cut is definitely demoralizing.

My daughter's good little school is always hammered because it's small and good (thanks to the PTA that funds the teaching aids). How can the teachers do more without the proper funding?

Teachers are too busy getting students ready to know how to take the tests instead of spending the time teaching.

It looks like we will lose good, experienced teachers because of testing, testing, testing -- so the kids can meet the standard but not necessarily learn the subject.

Vicky Fong

Los Angeles

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The dumbing down of the English language continues.

Michael A. Cappeto's explanation (or is it an apology?) on "An Insider's Quick Lesson on How to Ace the New SAT" (Commentary, Aug. 17) is not a challenge but a capitulation.

He states those grading the written essay will "overlook simple spelling, grammar and punctuation errors." If students do not know the difference between "your" and "you're" or among "their, there, they're" or the difference between "liar" and "lair," give them an F and send them back to English 1.

Terry Kennedy

Gardena

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