Thursday, August 19, 2010

Stealth School Taxes

In my area, just about every school district will have a tax levy on the November 2010 ballot. The levies have a wide range of purposes that include operating expenses, teacher raises, and, in one case, demolition of a current school building to build a new one at the same place.

Back to School? Bring your own toilet paper reports how more schools are asking students to bring in various materials, including those that the school is expected to supply. My daughter, who is attending kindergarten next year, is required to bring a number of items for use by the entire class, including crayons, glue sticks, a ream of copy paper, a box of tissues, and plastic storage bags. She is also required to pay an additional $35 fee for supplies.

To me, the requested supplies and fees are just another form of taxes being imposed without a school levy vote. When I attended, all I needed to bring were my own notebooks, pens and pencils. My teachers may have paid for supplies that they reused each year, such as materials for the bulletin boards. Otherwise, my school provided virtually everything that was needed for class.

Overall, I'm not opposed to my daughter providing materials for the class to use. However, people should acknowledge that the cost is really another tax increase for the middle class.

For more on Crossing Generations, check back every Thursday for a new segment.

This is not financial, tax or education advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

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