Education group says tax plan could lead to loss of more than 9,000 education jobs in Virginia

Posted at 12:13 PM, Nov 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-15 18:34:36-05

NORFOLK, Va. - The National Education Association is warning a tax plan in the House of Representatives could lead to the loss of more than 9,000 education jobs in Virginia.

House members are expected to vote on the bill on Thursday. The plan would eliminate a state and local tax income deduction, known as SALT. The plan keeps it partially for property taxes.

The NEA says the plan would hurt the budgets of state and local governments, leading to a potential loss of 250,000 jobs across the country. The NEA estimates a potential loss of 9,264 jobs in Virginia.

"That will translate into cuts to public schools, lost jobs to educators, overcrowded classrooms that deprive students of one-on-one attention, and threaten public education,” NEA President Lily Eskelsen García said.

Sid Neighbours, a middle school teacher and president of the Suffolk Education Association, said this could affect local classrooms. "Any time you put a larger group with less adults, it can cause classroom management issues," he said. "It can cause issues with classroom instruction."

Republicans leaders defended the plan, saying state governments need to get their budgets in order. “Look at California. California is one of the most mismanaged, highest-tax states in the nation. And they use an argument inside that Capitol, ‘Let’s raise taxes, as you can write it off on your federal income tax.’ Well, that’s not fair for all of America," said Rep. Kevin McCarthy on Fox Business Network.

Rep. Scott Taylor is leaning towards voting yes on the bill. "That reality is two-thirds of the folks in the second district will immediately have more money in their pockets," he said last week, noting a proposed doubling of the standard deduction.