This Florida School Supply Tax Break is a Joke

Behold the bounty of our school supply shopping escapades.

And this doesn’t include the pile of clothes and underpants that we bought either.

It was a tax-free weekend for school supplies here in Florida. And, since school starts in two weeks, we figured we would take advantage.

But even after so very much money spent (tax-free = throngs of shoppers out and about = price inflation, just saying), somehow it doesn’t seem like enough.

It seems so ironic, you know? A tax-free holiday offered to residents to get geared up for a year ahead at public schools that are barely intact after our governor decided to cut more than $2 billion dollars from education. Why? He doesn’t want to — GOD FORBID — raise taxes. Schools in Florida will have $700 less per student than they did before. Because, you know, their cups were just running over with spending surplus in years prior…

Ask a Florida teacher how much he or she made last year. Ask a Florida teacher how much he or she makes this year.

The education cups have never run over here. Never. And the only reason we have teachers still teaching at our schools is, well, because they don’t have much of a choice but to take the cut. Or, they are just awesome men and women who care too much about their kids to bail out and try for something else. Or maybe they aren’t teaching at all anymore, because they were fired due to these “tax-saving” budget cuts.

I’ve heard rumors of 4 day weeks. We got letters home about “many changes” expected in the coming year and to “please be understanding” as they adjust to drastic budget cuts.

So, looking over at this pile of expensive school supplies doesn’t really feel so great. Because I think we should be giving so much more. Something is very wrong with our system when cutting back on education to save a buck in our paychecks is morally acceptable.

My husband and I are hardly rolling in it. We’re upside down on our home thanks to an already shaky Florida economy. We have stacks of bills and 10 year old appliances kicking out on us just like everyone else. But if it would help our schools to buy this stack of school supplies once a month, I would.

But somehow I don’t think a monthly drop-off off clorox wipes and reams of paper will solve our budget problems.

So this tax-free weekend I don’t feel like we saved anything at all, really. I’m just afraid we’ve lost too much already.


#1 Angie on 08.14.11 at 12:46 pm

Though I may whine about the $84 I just spent on my girls’ required school supply shopping, I’m more than happy to do if it means the teachers don’t have to do it x 20 kids. As a teacher back in the olden days of 5 years ago, I was given $100 to furnish my classroom plus about $40 to spend in a supply catalog for the years’ supplies. That’s it. Now I think they not even given the stipend at all, depending on the school. And the copy paper was an even more ridiculous situation.

#2 Nan on 08.15.11 at 6:10 pm

Thanks for the support for teachers. Though some poorer ones are working, most care deeply and do their best for the children while walking that tightrope between parents and administration-supplies and needs. In the dark ages, when I taught, we worked two hours a night and eight or so on Sundays— we took school system classes and went to grad school to keep our jobs and try to ‘get ahead’ — and we all had car and furniture loans but spent hundreds a year on our classrooms and ‘our kids’. It is a sad state of affairs that the USA doesn’t value education and those who teach.

#3 ilinap on 08.23.11 at 7:06 pm

You could be writing about North Carolina too. It’s a disgrace, especially as we see the corner office execs getting fatter on the backs of others. Shameful.

#4 Jessie on 10.13.11 at 5:37 am

Back in the in 10 years ago, as a teacher, I was given 60 bucks to furnish my classroom. Now I think they not even given the stipend at all, depending on the school.
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#5 Uday on 10.28.14 at 10:21 pm

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