Bill would provide tax breaks for items schools must provide anyway

Sen. Jim Ananich, D-Flint, introduced Senate Bill 1030 which would allow a tax credit for parents to “help them afford necessary school supplies and materials” for their children. There have been at least eight similar bills over the years.

“Every dime counts when it comes to securing a good education for our students,” Ananich said in a press release. “Hopefully this legislation will help provide some relief for families who are just trying to make sure their kids have everything they need to succeed.”

For The Record says: Although politicians may be a little fuzzy on this, the state is very clear on what school districts must provide, free of cost. In the 1970 Michigan Supreme Court case Bond v. Ann Arbor School District, the court held, “[I]t is clear that books and school supplies are an essential part of a system of free public elementary and secondary schools.”

According to the Michigan Department of Education : “School districts must provide the following items free of charge for any required or elective course:

  • Pencils, paper, crayons, scissors, glue sticks
  • Textbooks (regular or supplemental)
  • Weekly readers or other periodicals if required for classroom use