Education News

House to vote soon on doubling educator tax deduction

The full House could vote this Tuesday on NEA-endorsed legislation that doubles the educator tax deduction and lifts the $10,000 cap on the state and local tax (SALT) deduction for two years to help ensure adequate funding for public education and other essential services. The Restoring Tax Fairness for States and Localities Act (H.R. 5377) would increase the annual educator tax deduction from $250 to $500—the actual amount 94 percent of public school teachers spent on classroom supplies and instructional materials during the 2014-15 school year, according to a U.S. Department of Education survey. The same survey showed that 1 in 10 teachers spent even more—in excess of $1,000.


Email your representatives and tell them to support H.R. 5377.

98 responses to “House to vote soon on doubling educator tax deduction

  1. $500 is welcomed but in reality if I add up all that I do purchase within the course of a year it certainly reaches closer to one thousand a year. I purchases many supplies and in many cases equip many stiuents with trappers, pens, papers, pencils and more. I also cover so many children who forgot their lunch money or were basically starving until I put them into the lunch lines with $.

  2. I buy whatever is necessary to teach my students. Sometimes, that means tissues, sometimes that means pencils, sometimes that means young adult books, sometimes that means curriculum. This year alone, I just spent $200 in August for a program I wanted to use to get the kids excited about reading. I’ve never not spent under $1500 in a school year since I began teaching in 1989.

  3. I have been an educator for 35 years and have invested my own money in the children to protect my own future. I question those who don’t want to support public education about what their actual motives may be.

  4. I spent thousands of dollars buying books, video, slides, art prints, computer programs and materials to make my students experience more enjoyable and providing educational experience past what my school system provided.
    The $250 deduction was insulting, it is a drop in the bucket. Special areas are usually underfunded and not spending a large chunk of my own money would have been an injustice to my students. I had a resource library for my students to research areas of Art and history and art related stories for pleasure reading

  5. I and many other teachers have spent thousands of dollars on equipment , supplies an professional development without being adequately reimbursed during our careers !

    1. I am confused and need clarification. How does lifting the cap on the SALT deduction for 2 years help ensure adequate funding for education? Lifting the cap = more deductions which in turn = less money for funding, doesn’t it?

  6. My mother taught in inner city schools before there was a food stamp program. She quickly discovered that children would steal chalk from the blackboard–and eat it. She learned that this is called “pica,” such severe malnutrition that the person eats chalk, clay, whatever they can get themselves to swallow. So she spent her own money to make sure each student got at least a half-pint carton of milk with. Of course, this was besides the paint, paper, crayons, etc., and all the driving around to find the right materials for a project.

  7. As a former teacher I know how important it is to supplement classroom material which often had to be done with my own money! So yes increase the deduction!

  8. It is a shame that only $250.00 is a credited education expense deduction on our tax form when teachers spend at least $800.00 a year out of our won pockets to support classroom materials for students. Its time our members in congress do something about this deduction and raised this tax credit to at $500.00. we would certainly appreciate it.

  9. As a disctrict Occupational Therapist, I too spend a lot of funds (in the thousands) to make home made play dough or sensory activities based on my individual student needs or for STEM activitoes, cutting crafts, etc. I need a lot of things to promote the skills underlying all the school-based fine motor skills, posture for writing, body awareness to navigate the school without bumping into items or coming too close into anothers personal space….there are so many occupations needed to be strengthened as more is expected at a younger age when students are not developmentally ready and muscles are not prepared.

    1. $500 is better… the previous $250 was ridiculous. $1,000 would make a difference, a 20% of salary is more realistic.

    2. Stop short changing the thousands of dedicated educators who go above and beyond attempting to provide equity in educational services to underserved communities closing the financial gap with our own money. We selflessly serve our public school regardless of the negative and punitive climates created by government officials and self serving bureaucrats. Please invest in our future supporting democracy and equity in all school for all students. Live up to your campaign promises regarding education. Together we (educators) cane make Maryland a leader in education innovations.

    3. Most teachers spend much more than $250 / year on supplies for the children that are entrusted to them to educate.

    4. They take millions in property taxes each year from our fixed income neighbors and give it to millionaires who own charter schools. 92% of all children attend public schools but all the money supports charter schools….. 500.00$. Really.!!

      1. I believe we, educators attend college many more years than a prison guard does and they have better pay than teachers who have been teaching over 20 years. Ridiculous how much teachers are valued in America.

    5. I easily spend between 800-1,200 a year on my classroom. My school is highly resourced District but ECSE is really trying to reduce their budget due to state funding cut backs on the ECSE program and my executive director tended to tell me there is no money for school expenditures our I missed the deadline. I haven’t asked yet this year.

      We have a family that generously donates iPads and other teaching resources because their son was in our program. We also can apply for grants from our PTO. We are fortunate to have their support.

    6. $500 is better… the previous $250 was ridiculous. $1,000 would make a difference, a 20% of salary is more realistic.

  10. For most of my teaching career, I spent $700 to $800 of my own money to buy everything from art supplies to facial tissues for my classroom. My special education students knew if one needed any type of supply, and the student had forgotten to notify the parents, it would be possible to drop by my room and receive any item needed. The idea of a child being scolded for not having necessary items did not sit well with me.

    1. Thank you for truly caring for these children. Many teachers do the same thing and never get a word of thanks for it. I believe that all teachers who help these children have a special place in heaven!

    2. We are both retired teachers and had similar experiences. Wealth was not our personal goal, love was and still is. This money helps provide more love!

    3. For most of my teaching career, I spent $1000 to $1200 of my own money to buy everything from art supplies to facial tissues for my classroom. My title 1 students knew if one needed any type of supply, and the student had forgotten to notify the parents, it would be possible to drop by my room and receive any item needed. The idea of a child being scolded for not having necessary items did not sit well with me.

  11. I spend at least $1,000.00 or more a school year easily. Copy paper and printer ink makes up the bulk of my purchases.

    1. My daughter spends well over $500.00 a year for the kids in her classroom. Increasing the tax deduction will take the pressure off her and increase the quality of the education of those children.

  12. The amount proposed is still too low. I am retired now as an educator but I easily spent $1,000 a year on my high school classes for various supplies and materials to enhace lessons. Not to mention food and drinks and other items, not only for rewards but also for building relationships with the classrooms. Teachers are a special breed who care about the growth and development of their students. They ought to be helped in every way possible.

  13. I’ve been retired for a few years, and spend very little on school supplies as a sub, but I see that teachers are still buying a lot of supplies out of their own pockets. I also see that everything costs more now than when this deduction was first implemented. Doubling the deduction is not at all out of line. Voting against this is out of line.

  14. I too have spent $10,000-20,000 each year on my students for which I had receipts.

    My husband used to refer to teaching as my hobby because I never made any money teaching!

    Hats off to all of us for all the love and support we have given our students!

  15. Teachers are underpaid continually and need all
    they can get to do their jobs. Helping them more is a
    thank you for their very needed gift to our country’.

    1. As a retired teacher of 38 years, the amount teachers spend out of pocket differs according to the needs of the students. If there were books needed, a teacher will use his/her own money. If there are programs, such as videos and classroom tools, a teacher will spend out of his/her pocket to provide the newest technology. If there are evening meetings, a teacher will hire babysitters if necessary at be in attendance. Overall, it differs among the states, but I support any decent raise from the meagre $250.00 the Trump folks want to dole out to teachers.

      1. As an Art teacher for 37 yrs, I spent thousands of dollars to buy books, art prints, computer programs, materials that my budget would not cover. My system would not only cancel AV and books that I ordered, so I began to buy materials that the students needed to expand their enjoyment and understanding of Art. Art was the original STEM curriculum .
        I do not regret spending all that money, my students got what they needed

    2. US teachers are the most sadly paid group of child-educators in the world. They should be paid more than most legislators. They, at least, do something for the good of mankind.

    3. as a teacher and administrator I would spend at least 700.00 a year for my students and then the school I was assigned to in the district

    4. As a retired Speech Language Pathologist I can attest that I spent well over $1000 every year for my program services. Many times I had to buy my own testing materials, online apps, books used in therapy and all consumable products used with 60+ students. $500 is a joke and another indicator the public doesn’t understand the educational field. Every pay raise I received went to increased health premiums.

    5. I agree with Mrs. Felix. The amount of money an educator spends on additional supplies to motivate students and to teach lessons adequately reaches the $2000.00 mark or more. However, teachers are not allowed to duct this amount from their taxes or even claim the amount. Teachers are the foundation of our country and should be treated fairly.

    6. When children are sitting in your classroom and there are not enough resources or supplies…there is no choice but to pay for what they need. SALT TAX should be repealed.

      If Trump loves his beautiful new tax law why is he moving his permanent address to FLORIDA (instead of NY)? Unfortunately, most of us don’t have a fleet of lawyers or accountants to fix our financial problems. And, most of us are not under investigation ny New York’s southern district. I don’t think we should trust a corrupt person(s) with our tax laws.

      REPEAL THE SALT TAX !

    7. I am an educator, and this year alone have spent over $1,500 for educational and technology subscriptions, supplies for my students, and classroom necessities that are not available/purchased by my school. When my students need something that will support their education, I purchase it with my own money.

      With budget cuts continually given to schools, teachers like myself are trying to fill the loss of funds. We do so because we care about our students and their educational experiences. We want them to get the best out of learning so that they are successful now and later in life.

      Over these last ten years, I have seen my pay either decrease because of required contributions to insurance, stay the same, or slightly increase. So, purchasing supplies for our students also hurts our personal budgets at home as well.

      Please strongly consider raising the $500 tax deduction for teachers. It is greatly needed.

    8. I’m a retired NY public school teacher. I cared deeply about the education and self-esteem of all of my students throughout the years. I worked hard to address both. I’ve spent a great deal of time and money on books, supplies, and materials to help students grasp concepts more easily. All of the material that I supplied was to aid the children in practicing and understanding the skills necessary to succeed in reading, math, and writing. I would have appreciated and welcomed ample reimbursement. I’m not alone. Please consider all of the money teachers invest in our children’s future.

    9. Teachers spend so much more than $500. It should be higher. Classroom teacher often buy complete sets of books, and many other supplies for the classroom because schools have cut back on the yearly amount teachers are given for supplies.

    10. I spend $2500 as a STEAM educator and USA still trails other developed countries by 60% in STEAM education. It’s time we connect the dots with allocating for education for now to improve our future.

    11. Being a teacher for over 45 years i know what it takes to make the classroom more colorful and exciting. Stickers, books, games, posters, protective plastic pages, loose leaf folders, colored folders for each child for each subject, fun materials for art activities, plant to keep the room healthier, tissues, wipes, a bell for recess line-up, etc. All teachers spend a lot of their own money to supply their classrooms. They should be allowed a tax break.

  16. As a STEM/STEAM educator leading a highly successful program in Jersey City, we not only spend our hard-earned dollars to help our student projects, we also spend hours outside of the classroom on our time off to help our students. In private enterprise, there are bonuses and compensation time for extra work and success. We need every little bit we can to keep pushing our students towards new skills and to influence students to take up STEAM careers and be entrepreneurs. Allowing us to write off more our own expenditures on Amazon Prime (now the go-to spot for our student STEAM team projects) for spur of the moment prototype project needs, is a step in the right direction.

  17. If you allow the people to be ill-educated and their manners corrupted from infancy, then punish them for which their first education disposed of them. What is to be concluded but that you first make thieves then punish them.

  18. The Restoring Tax Fairness for States and Localities Act (H.R. 5377) would increase the annual educator tax deduction from $250 to $500—the actual amount 94 percent of public school teachers spent on classroom supplies and instructional materials during the 2014-15 school year, according to a U.S. Department of Education survey. The same survey showed that 1 in 10 teachers spent even more—in excess of $1,000.

  19. As an educator, many students love to be rewarded for their work or efforts of passing a test. I spend over $500 on incentives just to motivate my kids. I will also use manipulative as a means for engagement. When this money is taken from my household, it suffers. But anything for my students, because they are my future.

  20. I certainly HOPE That You are Supporting this Bill Congresswoman Watson Coleman because We All need to Do Everything We Can to Support Public Education.
    After All, it’s Up to Everyone to “Teach Our Children Well” or Their Father’s…. Will Come Back to Haunt Them!
    Just in Case You didn’t Know, Neil Young wasn’t even Part of the Group Crosby, Stills, and Nash when They First Released that Very Good, Very True Folk Rock Song.

  21. This really helps educators all over the country but especially those in poorer areas. Our greatest asset are the children, they are our future. We need to make sure ALL students have the best education our country can afford.

  22. We should not lift the SALT tax of $10,000. It’s the states responsibility for their tax base, not the federal gov. Just another Dem trick of tying this to the teacher deduction for school supplies.

    As long as the teacher has receipts for their $500 worth of school supplies then they should be able to deduct that.

    DON’T REPEAL THE SALT TAX.

    1. Trust me every teacher will have receipts that total way way WAY more the 500.00 dollars in receipts. It’s just makes sense that these professionals are reimbursed for the amount of personal money they spent buying supplies.

    2. I agree. The real estate tax is stupid. It should go away permanently. All taxes should be tied two-income. Just because somebody thinks your house has a given value that doesn’t mean it is personal asset. People can’t afford that kind of thing. Tax income.

    3. The Restoring Tax Fairness for States and Localities Act (H.R. 5377) would increase the annual educator tax deduction from $250 to $500—the actual amount 94 percent of public school teachers spent on classroom supplies and instructional materials during the 2014-15 school year, according to a U.S. Department of Education survey. The same survey showed that 1 in 10 teachers spent even more—in excess of $1,000.

      Support this bill.

    4. If billionaires can deduct thousands in “per diem” to smoosh with politicians and lobbyist, then educators should be able to deduct all their out of pocket expenses for educational supplies. As for SALT, their should be no limit. All State and local taxes should be deducted from gross income before calculating federal taxes to not due so is double taxation. In addition, it shifts local control of taxes and how they are spent to the state and local level which makes more sense than allowing D.C. swamp monsters to make those decisions.

    5. New York and at least eleven other states have sent billions of dollars more to the federal government every year than they get back. It is only reasonable that their SALT should be fully deductible. Why punish states that have been more generous to the federal coffers? Is it because 11 of the 12 states affected tend to vote Democratic? That is highly partisan, especially when so many other states receive more federal dollars than they give.

    6. Limiting SALT deduction to $10,000 creates two classes of taxpayers, those who can deduct 100% of their SALT expenses and those who can’t. To create two classes of taxpayers is inherently unfair. It is also unfair to punish the taxpayers of certain states in a country that should provide fairness to the residents of all 50 states. Full disclosure: I do not live in a high tax state so I do not stand to benefit from the lifting of the $10,000 cap.

    7. Have you no shame, sir?
      Poorer states’s children should the benefit of being Americans!

      It is only fair that richer states share in providing American children a quality education!

    8. The Dems or Repubs or the man in the moon have no tricks or heavenly need to mess with teachers tax returns. The fact is as a teacher who was interested in proving my students with the best educational experience to prepare them for the “real world” needs required in 2019. It is no longer satisfactory to know just know how to read, write and understand mathematics. We live in very complex times and the pressure on workers is huge and require a varied and deep set of employable skill sets to participate in the modern workforce. Don’t think that additional tax benefits are no substitute for inadequate salaries, stop paying games and just pay teachers what they’re really worth, it’s simple. Then provide the necessary resources to have the equipment, supplies and environment to provide a 21st Century Education…

    9. You have in support of keeping people from not letting middle class rise when you say this. Teachers spend a substantial amount of money and districts support telling teachers and staff to pay for students when not given proper resources. As a charter school teacher, I had no technology until 2018 in a smartboard and not given a library for a resource class or even pencils many times in a low poverty school. I spent a lot of my own money. We are asked to volunteer all of the time as well.

    10. The states do pay for education but the federal government IS responsible for paying for large parts of education that they have never fully funding. Let’s start with special education. This is a federally mandated program that was to be fully paid for by the federal government by the early 80s. The federal government sends money to the states for less than 15%. How about transportation or free and reduced meal programs. Also woefully under funded but still mandated. Now with the SALT limits, states are being hit in the area that they had been using to fund these unfunded FEDERAL mandates. If you looked at the program in the states with higher SALT funding you would clearly see the difference. These states follow the laws and service these students needs as they should be. Education services is were I have spent my life and I don’t think it is a democratic trick. I think it is the blue states that are more effected because they are the ones that pay for all these unfunded federal mandates with SALT money as opposed to allowing the children of their states to suffer.

    11. The State of Indiana has a proposal to address the issue that money allocated for the classroom stays at the administrative level at a rate of at least 40%. If these thefts are exposed and curtailed, the SALT tax wouldn’t have to be raised.

    12. There are states like N.Y. where property owners pay in excess of $10,000 for state and local taxes. Why should they then be taxed again by the Feds? Lifting the SALT Tax Deduction of $10,000 for residents that pay more than that to state and local municipalities just evens out the playing field.

    13. SALT tax cap of $10,000 is unfair to hard working middle class tax payers mainly in “blue” states where education is highly valued and supported by SALT ( state and local taxes) It needs to be repealed! It not only hurts to pay high taxes and not to be able to deduct them but is driving home values down of those who have to pay them – It’s a triple penalty- all educators and families with children in public school should support its repeal!

    14. The SALT deduction limitation essentially taxes certain groups-twice. If you have a fairly successful small business in a city or state that has a relatively high tax rate due to high services or other high costs, such as property or housing costs, your combined State And Local Tax (including property tax) burden may easily exceed the deduction limit of $10,000. This means that, if your total of those taxes is $15,000, you pay $5000 more than the deduction limit in “SALT” taxes, and are also taxed on those extra $5000 in taxes. And if you have a successful small business in such a city or state, you aren’t likely to move it elsewhere. Certainly, unless a person favors taxes paid being taxed again, you should be in favor of repealing this limitation.

      In addition, many public servants (police, firefighters, teachers) are required to live in the communities that they serve. If such communities have already high taxes, housing costs and the like, the sum of those SALTs may cause even middle class taxpayers to pay twice, as well.

      Now, if we’re going to get political, let me state that the Republicans, in 2017, pushed through a permanent, huge welfare tax cut that essentially benefited for corporations already awash in cash, and the top 1% or so, that totaled an estimate $1.5 trillion. In tax year 2017, the total SALT deduction was perhaps 6% of that amount. Surely, if we can afford to give over a trillion dollars in welfare to the rich and highly profitable corporations, we can afford to give tax breaks to successful small businesses and those who live in high tax, high service states as well.

  23. Dear Mary Gay,
    Thank you for all of your hard work on the judiciary committee!
    You are definitely making a difference for our country 🇺🇸

  24. Many years I spent half of my income on unreimbursed job expenses, during my 38 years in the field. I saved all of my receipts, but that is not always possible.

    1. The $10,000 SALT cap was imposed by the Federal government…so Mr Warrens statement about Dems is just another Republican lie.

  25. Please support H.R. 5377. As a retired high school teacher and university professor, I believe that the increase in tax deductions for teachers and their expenses would be a big help. So many teachers spend many of their own dollars covering materials for students in their classrooms. The extra dollars would also increase moral support to these instructors. Thank you.

  26. I teach high school in LAUSD and I’ve spent thousands of dollars over the past few years on things for my students, and I deserve this tax deduction–far more, actually.

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