U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) recently hosted a press conference call to discuss his efforts to quadruple the amount educators can deduct from their taxes for class fees. Brown and Representative Anthony Brown (MD-04) introduced the Educator Expense Deduction Modernization Act, 2022 this week.
The current teacher deduction is $250, far less than most teachers spend out of pocket each year on school supplies. The bill would increase this amount to $1,000 and continue to index it to inflation.
“Teachers work as hard as anyone – often harder – to support our students, but they don’t get paid nearly the salaries and benefits they deserve, and they often spend hundreds of dollars of their hard-earned money on supplies for their classrooms,” said Senator Brown. “Ohio educators shouldn’t have to dip into their too-small checks just to do their jobs. We need to allow teachers to deduct more of these costs from their taxes, so they can focus on educating the next generation of Americans.
Educators have shown once again how indispensable they are to our communities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Department of Education, 94% of public school teachers paid for school supplies without reimbursement, and nearly one in 10 spent more than $1,000 a year. Teachers are paid far too little – on average 20% less than professionals with similar skills – and are also too often asked to cover class fees.
“If the tax deduction amount is increased to $1,000 for a teacher to use in the classroom, it goes back to the taxpayer, in a sense,” said Jill Wagner, an English teacher for Independence Local Schools. “Teachers are instinctively creative, and the extra money will be used to be more inventive about how to positively influence and support students and their school community. Teachers do NOT enter the profession to enrich themselves financially. We don’t get financial benefits. We enter the profession to help children learn to the best of their abilities, and the out-of-pocket expenses to get there cost us more every year.
Public spending on education has fallen over the past decades. Increasing this deduction recognizes the personal sacrifices so many educators make to ensure our children have the tools to learn.
“With children back in classrooms, educators are still being asked to cover basic class costs. Educators in our communities always put our children first and it is high time to show our gratitude by expanding this deduction,” said Congressman Brown. “As we return to the classroom, it is essential to increase teacher compensation and education budgets, as well as to ensure that educators and students have the tools they need to close the gap. of success. We must do all we can to help teachers and educators provide the quality education that every child deserves, regardless of background or zip code.
The Educator Expense Deduction Modernization Act of 2022 is endorsed by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Ohio Federation of Teachers (OFT), National Education Association (NEA), Ohio Education Association (OEA) and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).