Thank you so much for printing David Cay Johnston's excellent analysis of our corrupt tax system ("Wealth Care," April 14). In response to that reality, groups of concerned citizens participated in Tax Day demonstrations across the U.S. To draw attention to the impact of corporate tax breaks on our schools, I joined with the protesters at the Arcata branch of Bank of America.
On behalf of the Northern Humboldt High School District, I made a symbolic "deposit" of $1,100,000 to the Bank of America in Arcata. That "deposit" represents money that California taxpayers intended for Northern Humboldt High Schools in 2011-2012. It is going, instead, to the Bank of America in the form of tax subsidies.
That $1.1 million translates into 20 full-time teaching positions, positions the school board has been forced to cut. But that's not all. This school year, the state deferred 25 percent of its funding to our schools. Deferments are temporary, right? To be paid at a later date? Well, this year's $800,000 "deferment" is now permanent, and next year's deferrals are nearly twice that - 45 percent - bringing the total in cuts and deferments for 2011-2012 to $2.7 million!
Northern Humboldt High School District has been drawing on reserves to cover those deferrals, but at the current rate our reserves will be completely depleted by 2014. And no telling how many more teachers will have to be laid off.
By not paying their fair share of taxes, wealthy corporations are bankrupting our schools. Bank of America, one of the worst offenders, paid no taxes on its $4.4 billion profits in 2009!
As if that weren't enough, there's more: The Humboldt County Consortium of Schools banks at the Bank of America. They have considered moving to a local bank, but are too short staffed by the budget cuts to manage the transition. Meanwhile, Bank of America is profiting from the public schools that it is bankrupting.
Governing Board Member
Northern Humboldt Union
High School District