Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tell Congress: Extend Educator Tax Deduction and Rural Schools Program

July 24, 2008

The Senate will once again consider a bill to extend certain tax deductions and other critical programs. This bill contains several provisions of great importance to educators, including provisions to extend:

The Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act,
The tax deduction for educators' out-of-pocket classroom supply expenses, and
The Qualified Zone Academy Bonds (QZAB) school modernization program.
The Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination program, which provides guaranteed funding to rural, timber-dependent counties, has expired. Failure to reauthorize and fund it immediately will result in a substantial and devastating funding cut for rural counties across the country. In fact, a number of counties around the country have already begun sending out layoff notices to educators and other public employees.

The educator tax deduction helps recognize the financial sacrifices made by teachers and paraprofessionals. Studies show that educators spend more of their own funds each year to supply their classrooms, including purchasing essential items such as pencils, glue, scissors, and facial tissues. The deduction will expire at the end of this year unless Congress acts.

The QZAB program assists school districts in rural and urban communities by providing a financing mechanism to renovate buildings and invest in equipment and technology.

Contact your Senators Today!

Tell the Senate to pass the tax extender bill before they leave for the August recess.

Tell Congress: Support Permanent Home for Women's History Museum

The National Women's History Museum is a non-partisan, non-profit educational institution dedicated to fostering a greater appreciation of how women have shaped our culture. The Museum has not had a permanent home since its founding in 1996. On July 17th, Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) introduced a bill (H.R. 6548) that will allow the museum to secure a permanent home near the national mall.

Contact your Representatives in Congress.

Tell Congress to support legislation to give the National Women's History Museum a permanent home.

Statements on Social Security Offsets Available on House Committee Website

Statements submitted for the record in conjunction with the January 2008 House Ways and Means Committee hearing on Social Security offsets - including many statements submitted by NEA cyberlobbyists - are now available on the Committee's website.

Due to a technical glitch, some submitted statements were not received by the Committee. If you submitted a statement in January, check the website to make sure your statement is there. If you do not see your statement, you can contact the committee at 202-225-3625 to inquire about resubmitting it. Note, this is only for statements originally submitted within the two week period following the January hearing that were lost due to the Committee's technical problems.