Educator Tax Relief
Urge Congress to Make Permanent the Educator Tax Deduction
In 2002, Congress passed legislation giving educators a $250 federal tax deduction for out-of-pocket expenses for instructional materials and classroom supplies. The deduction, which had been extended several times, expired at the end of 2013. In the House, Rep. David Reichert (R-WA) has introduced the Educator Tax Relief Act of 2015 (H.R. 2940), this bipartisan bill would make the $250 educator tax deduction permanent, index it to inflation, and allow educators to deduct out-of-pocket expenditures for professional development as well as classroom materials and supplies.
The $250 a year educator tax deduction helps recognize the financial sacrifices made by educators who often reach into their own pockets to purchase classroom supplies such as books, pencils, paper, and art supplies for their students. For example, during the 2012-2013 school year, public school teachers spent approximately $1.6 billion of their own money on classroom supplies, according to the National School Supply and Equipment Association (NSSEA). A study by the NSSEA, an organization that represents retailers of classroom supplies, also found that 99.5 percent of all public school teachers spent some amount of out of pocket money for supplies for their students and classrooms.
Even when they must sacrifice their own personal needs to cover the cost of materials and supplies, educators do so to ensure their students have what they need to succeed. Ongoing professional development is important for the same reason—it keeps educators’ skills and knowledge up to date so they can prepare their students to meet the challenges of our rapidly changing world.
By including an inflationary adjustment to the educator tax deduction and making it permanent, this legislation will make a real difference for many educators, who often must sacrifice other personal needs to pay for classroom supplies.
Take Action Today: Urge Congress to Make Permanent the Educator Tax Deduction
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