July 12, 2006

$100 Gift Cards for Georgia Teachers - Part II

In January, Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue proposed giving $100 gift cards to Georgia teachers to use for school supplies during the state's sales tax holiday weekend. His proposal is become a reality.

According to this article, just days from now on July 18 approximately 108,000 - $100 Classroom gift cards will have been distributed to Georgia teachers for use during the sales tax holiday weekend from August 3rd to the 6th. Here's the letter from the Governor to teachers about the classroom gift cards.

This topic has caused quite a stir on this very blog. Click here to read a past blog post and various comments. Most of the comments previously offered appear to be from teachers who have spent and, from the sounds of it, will continue to spend lots of their own hard earned money providing supplies, assisting students, and even providing lunch money. The sacrifices of Georgia teachers and teachers everywhere certainly should be appreciated. Local communities and states should work to acknowledge the "extras" that teachers contribute.

Clearly some readers are thankful for the gift cards and admit that while it's a drop in the bucket it is helpful.

However, I can't help but think that Georgia teachers and students deserve better. Why stop at a $100 gift card? Why not work to fund the school system well enough so that teachers aren't expected to spend their own money on supplies, etc.

Again, I ask - What do you think?

On a side note, it's interesting that if a teacher is unable to use the gift card during the sales tax holiday weekend, they are advised to "cut up the card and discard."


At 9:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My wife is a teacher and we spend at least $500 per year on supplies. We spent over $2000 her first year. I agree with Kelly, this is a political stunt. Gov. Perdue is buying off Georgia teachers with this $100 card.

There are two better ways to achieve the goal of providing enough supplies to classrooms. First, Georgia taxpayers could pay more in taxes to pay for the supplies. Teachers could walk into their rooms on the first day of pre-planning and find all the supplies they need on hand. The second way is to pay teachers additional salary to cover the costs of buying supplies they need.

Both of these ideas are superior to the $100 card gimmick. Georgia teachers and taxpayers should be embarrassed by such political pandering.

BTW, won't Georgia teachers have to include the $100 as gross income on their individual federal income tax returns? Hmm...

At 10:44 PM, Anonymous Urban Educ8r said...

Yes, I think this is a political gimmick. It think the governor has grossly underestimated the value of a teacher's vote, but he may still win the election because his opponent is a far worse option for the state.


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