State News Roundup
A New York State teachers' union has denounced a proposal that would permit state taxpayers to deduct educational expenses at public and private schools from their taxable income.
Thomas Hobart, president of the New York State United Teachers, an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, issued a statement calling the plan "a shameless scheme to put public tax money into the hands of the wealthy and deal a crippling blow to New York's public-school system."
Under the tax plan, proposed by Senator John J. Marchi, a Republican and chairman of the finance committee, parents could claim a $20 standard deduction for each child in school, or itemize deductions for such educational expenses as tuition, textbooks, supplies, and transportation up to $650 for students in grades K-8 and up to $1,000 for students in grades 9-12.
The plan, which Mr. Marchi esti-mated would cost the state $45 million a year in lost revenue, is intended to aid parochial and other nonpublic schools in the state, said Jerry McLaughlin, a spokesman for Mr. Marchi.
According to Mr. Hobart, private education is, and should remain, an alternative system. "It should not be supported by public tax dollars, any more than the person who chooses a private country club over a municipal golf course should be subsidized by the state," he said.
Similar bills were under consideration in at least 17 states a year ago, following the U.S. Supreme Court's 1983 decision, in Mueller v. Allen, upholding a tuition-tax-deductionel5llaw in Minnesota. (See Education Week, March 7, 1984.)