From the desk of Senator Joyce Waddell

Revenue Code Update & Teacher Turnover

Joyce Waddell

Charlotte, NC- This year's proposed tax code update spans just two pages, and its main provision has already passed the House. The legislature's Revenue Laws Study Committee got its first look Wednesday at the annual Internal Revenue Code update bill, which determines which new federal tax provisions will apply to state taxpayers. The draft legislation would allow taxpayers to deduct medical and dental expenses that exceed 7.5% of their income; the current law sets the threshold at 10%. Congress made the change in a wide-ranging tax bill enacted in December.

But the bill calls for North Carolina to "decouple" from new federal provisions involving tuition and education expense deductions, mortgage interest deductions and income exclusions for debt forgiveness on a primary residence. However, those are extensions of tax provisions that North Carolina hadn't passed along at the state level since a 2013 effort to simplify the state's tax code.

This week the Annual Report on the State of the Teaching Profession will be discussed in the State Board of Education meeting next week. The North Carolina's teacher turnover rate fell to 7.5% last school year, down from 8.1% and 8.7% in previous years.

Other highlights include:

•7,115 of North Carolina's 94,672 public school teachers left last school year

•6.8% of the state's experienced licensed teachers left last year, while 11.3% of beginning teachers left

•A majority of the teachers, 60.7%, left for personal reasons

•North Carolina's turnover rate only includes teachers who left the field or left the state. Teachers who take a job in a different North Carolina school district are tallied in a figure the state calls "teacher mobility."

"We must do what is necessary to keep good teachers in our schools and most of all we must begin training and recruitment while students are still in high school" said Senator Joyce Waddell.