The Compass: Official Newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay
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November 23, 2001 Issue
Local News

WCC supports AB-428

Bill would allow teachers to deduct supply expenses

The Wisconsin Catholic Conference urged the Assembly Committee on Education to support a bill to give teachers an income tax deduction for their out-of-pocket expenses for classroom supplies.

State Rep. Steve Wieckert and State Sen. Dave Hansen authored proposal AB-428.

"Teachers in Wisconsin schools go to great lengths to provide an educational experience for their students that will give them a solid foundation for future successes," said M. Colleen Wilson, associate director of the Conference.

"The tax deduction proposed by AB 428 accomplishes two purposes: It provides very modest financial relief to the teachers who are willing to use their finite resources to benefit their students; and it serves as an expression of gratitude from the state of Wisconsin for the steps that teachers take on their own to augment what schools are able to provide," Wilson said.

Under the bill, teachers can take a tax deduction of up to $500 for monies they spend for educational supplies -- materials or supplies that are used in the normal course of instruction in a school.

Teachers in public, religious and independent schools would be eligible for the tax deduction. According to administrators of several Catholic schools, most, if not all, Catholic school teachers spend their own funds to buy educational materials.

Wilson stressed the importance of the inclusiveness of the bill to committee members.

"AB-428 recognizes the contributions of teachers from all schools in Wisconsin -- religious schools, public schools, independent schools. The sacrifices being made by teachers on behalf of their students do not take place in just one kind of school. Teachers are equally deserving of inclusion in legislation that acknowledges their contributions, regardless of where they choose to share their gifts."

If the committee supports passage of AB-428, the Assembly could take up the bill when it begins its winter floor period in January. The bill also has to clear the Joint Committee on Tax Exemptions and the state Senate before moving on to the Governor's desk.

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