House Bill 554 — School funding, classroom supplies

House Bill 554 — School funding, classroom supplies

by
Parrish Miller
February 27, 2020
Parrish Miller
February 27, 2020

Bill description: HB 554 instructs the State Department of Education to give money directly to government schoolteachers to spend on classroom supplies. 

Rating: -2

Does it increase government redistribution of wealth? Examples include the use of tax policy or other incentives to reward specific interest groups, businesses, politicians, or government employees with special favors or perks; transfer payments; and hiring additional government employees. Conversely, does it decrease government redistribution of wealth?

HB 554 instructs the State Department of Education to give tax money to government schoolteachers for them to spend on classroom supplies and materials. The bill allows teachers to decide how the money is spent and to carry over unused funds for future years. 

The bill's statement of purposes suggests that Idaho teachers spend over $400 per year on classroom supplies. People go into the profession knowing that they may end up buying classroom supplies, yet this bill proposes to use tax dollars to replace these expenditures, effectively forcing taxpayers to further subsidize government schoolteachers. 

(-1)

Does it increase government spending (for objectionable purposes) or debt? Conversely, does it decrease government spending or debt?

HB 554 does not place any limits on how much money can be appropriated for this program. While the bill's fiscal note uses an example of $100 per teacher, which comes to more than $1.6 million annually in new spending, the bill's statement of purposes suggests that Idaho teachers spend over $400 per year on classroom supplies. If the appropriation were for $400 per teacher, the amount of new spending would exceed $6.43 million annually. Because there is no cap on the program, as the number of teachers increases, so will the spending. 

(-1)

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