Our county and state lawmakers are not adequately taxing us for education and our schools can't buy standard supplies for our children. Politicians even tout their low-tax policies as if it's helping us. However, it's not only a complete lie, but it's also causing us parents to incur costs that we can't even deduct on federal taxes. If these educational expenses were covered by property taxes, we would be able to deduct them on federal taxes.
This attached image from http://www.cobbk12.org/budget/index.aspx shows the smoke and mirrors perpetrated by our fiscal conservative county and state leadership. They claim they are saving us money, but they are instead short-changing our schools so much that we have to purchase supplies that in some parts of the country property taxes cover.
Without going into great detail on my origins, I grew up in a state where no school system required us to buy more than a few supplies for school (folders, binders, papers, pencils, book covers (paper bags sufficed), and in higher grades calculator and protractor/compass/ruler). Art supplies, scissors, glue, etc were provided by the school system, paid for by property tax. We only needed to pay for field trips. Even team and club supplies for extra-curricular activities were covered, within reason with certain caps.
Look at what we have to buy our kindergartner, straight from our school's site:
(1) packs of #2 pencils (plain yellow ones) NO JUMBO
(1) pack of jumbo erasers
(2) packs of 24 ct. Crayola brand Crayons
(18) large Glue Sticks
(1) small Elmer’s liquid glue
(1) pair blunt 5” Fiskar scissors
(1) washable Crayola Thick Classic Markers
(1) pack of wide EXPO dry erase markers – unscented please
(1) ream of white copy paper
(2) boxes of Kleenex Tissues
(2) 6 oz. or more bottles of Hand Sanitizer
(2) 6 oz. or larger bottles of Dial liquid hand soap (1 will go to Specialists)
(1) can Lysol Disinfectant Spray
(2) container of Baby Wipes
(3) containers of Clorox wipes (1 will go to Specialists)
(1) box Ziploc bags – gallon size (boys only)
(1) box Ziploc bags – quart size (girls only)
(1) composition notebook
(2) wide-lined spiral notebooks
(1) Rest Mat for rest time – Labeled with Child’s Name
(1) Change of Clothes – Labeled with Child’s Name
If you do the math, that's hundreds of dollars extra in hidden taxes and costs. From what I understand this is pretty typical across the county and state, with some variations.
Some of these items seem ridiculous: The Lysol, hand soap, Clorox wipes, and dry-erase markers seem like janitorial supplies and two of these items specifically go to specialists (janitors?). You're saying we don't pay enough taxes to cover capital costs such as that?
Additionally, we're told they are shared between students communally. For instance, if our child uses less, we end up buying supplies for other kids. I wonder what happens when a family can't afford these supplies. Am I buying them for them? Don't get me started on schools that require uniforms (luckily not my child's). Parents have to pay for those as well even though they may be able to find discount casual clothes that are cheaper.
Finally, the other travesty is that only seniors are supposed to be spared the educational taxes. However, in this case, everyone who doesn't have kids is spared. I think that is inconsistent and puts an extra burden on some parents who are already hard-strapped to cover the costs of raising children. School is obviously not optional. It is dictated by law.
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