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Letter to the Senate opposing Smith amendment because of inclusion of Coverdell Savings Accounts. It reiterates support for Collins/Warner

January 27, 2007

Dear Senator:

On behalf of the National Education Association's (NEA) 3.2 million members, we would like to clarify our position regarding amendments to the minimum wage bill that would make permanent the tax deduction for educators' out-of-pocket classroom supply expenses.  

  • NEA opposes the Smith amendment.  Although this amendment would make the teacher tax deduction permanent, we cannot support the amendment because it includes an extension of Coverdell Savings Accounts.   NEA has long opposed Coverdell accounts, a voucher-like program directing tax advantages mostly to people who already send their children to private schools.  In effect, the Coverdell program acts as a subsidy of private education. 

  • NEA supports the Collins/Warner amendment to make the teacher tax deduction permanent.   We have attached here for your information a copy of our letter of January 24 expressing our strong support for this amendment. 

We urge your support for the Collins/Warner amendment and your opposition to the Smith amendment.  We thank you for your attention to this important issue.  Votes associated with these issues may be included in the NEA Legislative Report Card for the 110th Congress.

Sincerely,

Diane Shust, Director of Government Relations

Randall Moody, Manager of Federal Policy and Politics