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Funding for 370,000 education jobs at risk if Senate eliminates state and local tax deduction

Senate leaders to fund tax break for the wealthiest on backs of students, educators and working families

WASHINGTON - November 14, 2017 -

As part of its massive tax plan giveaway to the wealthiest and corporations, the U.S. Senate Republican leadership bill fully eliminates the state and local tax (SALT) deduction. Its elimination could blow a hole in state and local revenue to support public education to the tune of $370 billion over ten years, potentially putting at risk funding for 370,000 education jobs according to a detailed analysis of the impact of the Senate bill on funding for public education conducted by the National Education Association.

“The Senate plan is a tax giveaway to the wealthiest and corporations paid for on the backs of working people, educators, and students,” said NEA President Lily Eskelsen García. “On eliminating the state and local tax deduction, the Senate Republican leadership’s tax plan is actually worse than the plan released by House Republican leaders. If enacted, elimination of SALT well could jeopardize the ability of state and local governments to fund public education. That potentially could translate into cuts to public schools, lost jobs to educators, and overcrowded classrooms that deprive students of one-on-one attention.”

For a detailed state-by-state breakdown of the impact of fully eliminating SALT by the Senate, please click on this link. The House tax plan would eliminate most of SALT, risking funding for 250,000 education jobs. See this link for state-by-state analysis.

America has been down this road before. During the Great Recession, local government education jobs lost between July 2008 (peak) and November 2012 (trough) were 366,000 according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. The Senate bill’s full repeal of SALT has the potential of laying on public education the equivalent of another Great Recession. Of the education jobs lost during the recession, 140,000 remain unfilled as of today, while 1.2 million more students fill public school classrooms.

The Senate Republican leadership bill comes as the nation also faces a teacher shortage. At the start of the 2017-18 school year, every state in the country was facing a teacher shortage. In addition, according to the Washington Post, school districts also are struggling to fill positions in math, reading and English language arts, as well as finding substitute teachers.

“It has taken years to recover from the Great Recession, and we’re not out of the woods yet, what with our country facing a national teacher shortage,” continued Eskelsen. “We must ensure that our students have caring, qualified, and committed educators in order to succeed. This bill is terrible for the American people because it is a giveaway for the wealthy and corporations funded on the backs of students, educators, and the middle class – and Congress should soundly reject it.”

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The National Education Association is the nation's largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Miguel A. Gonzalez
(202) 822-7823,