Why is a former professor endorsing policies that do not support education? Dave Brat previously taught economics at the small private Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia before he was elected to the House of Representative in the 7th Congressional district of Virginia in 2014. Mr. Brat just voted in favor of the tax change bill, but it does not support education.
A native of Michigan, he was the oldest of three sons of a physician and a social worker. Clearly, he was taught the value of education in his home as he, himself, pursued advanced degrees and then taught others. And yet, he voted for a plan that will make education harder on families in four important ways.
First, no longer will families be allowed to deduct student loan interest from their income. Why does Mr. Brat want to penalize people who want to further their education? Second, it also will no longer allow employer-funded postsecondary education to be exempt from taxes. So, if you got a great job that will pay your child’s college tuition you will have to start paying tax on that benefit. Why does Mr. Brat want to increase taxes on those families? Third, if your child goes on to graduate school, their taxes on tuition will go up 400 percent. Why is Mr. Brat discouraging people from getting advanced degrees like he himself has done? Fourth, and finally, schoolteachers who are allowed to deduct up to $250 for classroom supplies each year will have that small help eliminated. What a slap in the face to them. Why are we picking on teachers when there is a national teacher shortage?
Louisa County is only four percent of the district, so, Mr. Brat may not care what our opinion of him is. But here in Louisa County, we have a great school system! In comparisons to the 15 closest high schools, we were recently ranked at the top in math and English and tied in science and social studies. And of course our football team is winning!
We need an elected representative who will support the fantastic work our public school teachers and staff are doing, will help families to afford college for the kids who choose to go that route, and will allow the fewer to pursue graduate research that helps us all. Mr. Brat is not helping our future. Who is he helping? Louisa, we can do better.
Editors Note: This has been reposted with the author’s permission, and originally appeared in the November 30th edition of the Central Virginian, and is only available online to paid subscribers, or here.