TEF Lessons for Members and Citizens
Lesson 3
The American Dream
vs.
The American Reality
3–1
Objective:
Participants examine who benefits and
who loses from the current economic
structure and how these unequal
benefits impact education funding.
3–2
As a group can we agree that we will:
1) Respect and value differences of opinions
and varying levels of knowledge.
2) Be fully attentive.
3–3
The American Dream vs. The Reality
• Work hard
and get
ahead
• Many people who
work hard are still
poor.
3-4
In today’s economy, when
educators are experiencing:
•
•
•
•
Cut backs on education funding,
Combined with growing class sizes,
A high-stakes testing environment,
And an increasing number of lowersocioeconomic students,
It’s time to ask the WHY and HOW
Questions.
3-5
With America’s Resources:
• WHY are we in this mess?
• HOW did we get here?
• HOW does it impact education
funding and student achievement?
• HOW can we get out of this mess
A quick history lesson will aid our
thinking….
3-6
Let’s examine
income growth for
different income
groups over 2
time periods of
U.S. economic
prosperity.
3–7
THE HUMAN BAR GRAPH
1947-1979
3-8
3–9
THE HUMAN BAR GRAPH
1979-2005
3-8
3–11
1979 to 2009 – Real Family Income
Growth by Quintile & for Top 5%
Up to $26,934
$26,934 to
$47,914
$47,914 to
$73,338
$73,338 to
$112,540
$112,540
and up
$200,000
and up
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Historical Income Tables, Table F-3, incomes in 2009 dollars adjusted for inflation;
income ranges from Table FINC-06.
12
Q&A
On the Income Growth Activity
3–13
Question:
Why did all income groups experience relatively
equal income growth from 1949-1979?
Answer:
• Union membership was on the rise, resulting in
higher salaries and benefits for many Americans.
• The government’s goal was to build and educate the
middle class. The wealthy were taxed equitably
with the working and the poor and the money was
invested in public education.
3-14
Examples of
policies
designed to
grow the
middle class:
• The G.I. Bill
• The National Defense
Education Act
• The Elementary &
Secondary Education
Act
3-14
15
It Paid Off – in $ and
Increased Educational Attainment
Example: Martin Feldstein, Reagan’s chief economic
advisor, estimated that taxpayers received back $7 in
additional revenue for each $1 they had invested in the
G.I. Bill.
Example: Literacy Achievement Gap cut nearly in ½ in
approximately 15 years.
Example:
1947
4% of the US population held a college degree
1980
24% of the US population held a college degree
3-16
Question:
What happened from 1979–2009 to cause some
income groups to experience huge growth, while
others had modest or no income growth?
Answer:
* Assault on unions resulting in membership
declines
* Since the 1980s government’s goal has been to:
 Cut taxes for the wealthy and corporate special interests
 Deregulate
 Privatize
3–17
Question:
What are signs that the policies of the 1980s –
present haven’t worked?
Answer:
 1980s – present, educational attainment has been
unchanged, and in some cases become worse compared to
other developed nations
 Job growth is stagnant
 The rate of income growth has declined for all income
groups (even the wealthy) as we just saw in the human bar
graph
 Millions more people have fallen into poverty
 College tuition, gasoline, health care costs are rising
3-18
3–19
Average Annual Gain as a Result of
Extending the Bush Tax Cuts through 2013
$68,079
$7,869
$125
$516
$819
$1,540
Source: Citizens for Tax Justice, http://www.ctj.org/bushtaxcuts10yrs/us.pdf
Review
From the 1940s – 1970s
1.The wealthy were taxed equitably with the
working and the poor, and the money was
invested in public education.
2.Union membership was on the rise.
3.Educational attainment went up.
4.The American economy grew rapidly and
prosperity was widely shared among all income
groups (economic inequality was reduced).
3-22
Review
From the 1980s – present
1. Taxes were cut for the wealthy and corporate special
interests.
2. Taxes were increased on the rest of Americans.
3. Public education investments decreased.
4. Educational attainment is stagnant
(still at 24% college educated)
5. Economic inequality increased. Top income earners
increased their wealth and others saw their income
decline or experienced very little income growth.
6. Increase in the number of poor students has increased
the need for public education funding.
3-23
Discussion Questions
Question:
Are these tax policies working to foster or hinder the
achievement of the AMERICAN DREAM?
Question:
How do these tax policies impact our students and their
parents? Our own colleagues? Many of our ESPs often have
to work two jobs to make ends meet. And how many
classroom teachers still keep their summer job to help pay
for their children’s college tuition?
Question:
How might you act on this knowledge/awareness?
3–24
Through TEF, the NEA is advocating:
Tax structures that are fair and
broad-based to create the conditions
for student success!
3–25
Through TEF, the NEA is advocating:
A level economic development
playing field with increased
investment in public education for
greater economic returns.
3–26
Through TEF, the NEA is advocating:
Adequate and equitable funding
for all students.
3–27
MAKE THE TEF CONNECTION
When they lack the
capacity to
deliver those results…
When tax
structures are
out of sync
with the
economy…
Schools are being
held accountable for
results…
Accountability
School Capacity
When funding is
inadequate and
inequitable…
School Funding
Economy & Tax Structure
And not
everyone
is aware.
Public Support
28
3-26
TEF Tools and Resources
TEF Website: http://www.nea.org/tef
1
Publications
Studies supporting TEF concepts:
•
The Effects of State Public K-12
Expenditures on Income Distribution
•
K-12 Education in the U.S. Economy
•
Protecting Public Education from Tax
Giveaways to Corporations.
•
School Funding, Taxes and Economic
Growth
•
TEF Series
Why invest in education makes sense:
Enriching Children, Enriching the Nation
Corporate abuse:
The Great American Job Scam - corporate tax
dodging and the myth of job creation.
Your Tax Dollars At Work…Offshore - foreign
outsourcing firms are capturing state
government contract.
No More Secret Candy Store - A grassroots
guide into investigating corporate
subsidies.
2
State-Specific
Data Sources
States Facing Budget Shortfall – Center for
Policy and Budget Priorities (CBPP) reports
state fiscal profiles.
State-by-state tax news and policy analysis
provided by the Institute of Economics and
Policy Analysis (ITEP).
Economic Policy Institute’s (EPI) new report
analysis rank states by overall unemployment as
well as the change seen since the start of the
recession in December 2007.
Enriching Children, Enriching the Nation show
state returns in budget, salary, crime reduction by
investing in Pre-K thru 12.
Find out how much Wal-Mart is costing your state
in subsidy deals, healthcare cost, and property tax
appeal appeals.
Combined Reporting, How Does Your State
Stack-Up? Institute on Taxation and Economic
Policy (ITEP) This reporting requires multi-state
corporations to report the income earned by both
the parent corporation and all of its subsidiaries
and to determine their income tax liabilities on that
basis.
Good Jobs First state-by-state corporate subsidy
websites.
3
State affiliates in
TEF Action
A few examples…
This video address from Alabama EA
President, John Wright.
Alabama EA sheds light on corporate
tax avoidance in Alabama
Detroit News, Friday, July 25, 2008
MEA Press Release: Drop-outs One
Too Many, April. 4, 2008
Honolulu Advertiser, Dec, 2006
Honolulu Advertiser, Feb. 2007
Iowa State EA News Article
Kentucky EA - School Funding
Statement.
Michigan’s Business Tax Incentives:
A study commissioned by MEA and NEA
to improve the quality of the debate on
business tax incentives.
Mississippi EA op-ed piece.
State Affiliate TEF Websites: Colorado,
Illinois, Michigan, Mississippi, New
Jersey, Oklahoma
3-27
TEF Tools and Resources
TEF Website: http://www.nea.org/tef
4
Customizable Tools
Community Organizing
•
Business Outreach
5
Other
Useful Links
6
Introducing a
New TEF
Interactive Tool
NEA Information on establishing a social
networking site to use as an organizing
tool.
Sample Political Action Tools
Others are: (http://www.ning.com/ ) and
•
•
Corporate Legislation
TEF Model Legislation
(http://www.groupsite.com/)
http://www.faireconomy.org/tfoc to locate
your state’s tax fairness organizing
collaborative. These groups are
located in 21 states.
www.nea.org/tef
3-30
Other Resources
7
On Taxes…
Videos
PBS Now, "Taxing the Poor" ((26.03)
Wal-Mart Subsidies (7:48)
Warren Buffett's Tax Rate is Lower than His
Secretary's (4:39)
TAXES: Warren Buffett - Rich Taxed Too Little,
Poor Too Much (5:17)
Eye To Eye With Katie Couric: Buffett's Tax Code
(CBS News) (1:40)
8
On Economic
Policies
Videos
U.S. PIRG on Countdown. Olbermann talks about
U.S. PIRG's report "Tax Shell Game.”
9
Funding for Schools
Access Quality Education: School Funding
Litigation A National Network of
Advocates Involved in Education
Finance Litigation,
Abbott vs. Burke is the New Jersey Supreme
Free Lunch, Corp Welfare, Bill Moyers and David
Cay Johnston (9:49)
David Cay Johnston - A History of
Government Subsidies (3:08)
Court ordered a set of education
programs and reforms widely recognized
to be the most fair and just in the nation.
David Cay Johnston - Are Government
Subsidies Unfair? (4:43)
David Cay Johnston - A Moral Argument for
Progressive Taxes (3:04)
3-31
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent
about things that matter.”
— Martin Luther King, Jr.
3–32
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The NEA’s Connecting the Dots Series: