Education Tax Cuts
There’s been a lot of talk lately about cutting education budgets to offset budget shortfalls. Public funds go to education, so it’s fair to cut those funds when state and local budgets are off track, the argument goes.
But there are obvious flaws to such simplistic takes on economic reform. Slashing school budgets means fewer educators, bigger classes, and a less diverse curriculum. A recent Teachers College survey found that, on the flip side, investing in education leads to higher individual incomes; higher property value rates; lower crime rates; and lower costs for public health and welfare services. “NEA’s 3.2 million members know the best comprehensive, pro-growth economic strategy is to invest in our students,” says NEA President Dennis Van Roekel.
And as trusted members of your communities, NEA Retired members can play a big role in helping others see how cuts to public education negatively affect our economic viability, public safety, and even our national security.
Some points to consider:
- First, government spending does not create recessions. Rather, it benefits the economy when funds are dedicated to areas of long-term benefit, including education. A dollar-for-dollar investment in education increases private income and jobs more than any sector of the economy. (NEA Research)
- Proposed drastic cuts being decided on now will mean educator layoffs. Increasing unemployment is never good for the economy. And for kids? A 10 percent increase in the student-teacher ratio leads to a 1-2 percent decrease in high school graduation rates and lower standardized test scores. (Teachers College)
- Some argue that America spends more per pupil than most countries, so there’s room to cut back. But that’s not long-term thinking. As Linda Darling-Hammond told the Boston Globe, “the vast majority of jobs are knowledge-based. If we do not invest [in education] we really can’t survive as a nation.”
- Investing in the human capital infrastructure of our nation is a better use of government money than tax cuts and other give-a-ways.
- Investing in the human capital of our country is investing in the national defense of our country's ability to compete in the future.