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Congresswoman Joyce Beatty

Representing the 3rd District of Ohio

Beatty Introduces Bill to Reimburse Teachers Who Pay for Supplies Out of Pocket

Jun 12, 2015
Press Release

Beatty Introduces Bill to Reimburse Teachers Who Pay for Supplies Out of Pocket

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (OH-03) announced today her introduction of legislation that would reimburse educators who pay for educational supplies out of pocket. The Reimburse Educators who Pay for Academic Year (REPAY) Supplies Act of 2015, H.R. 2692, would permanently extend classroom deductions. Rep. Beatty was joined by 14 original cosponsors in introducing the legislation, which was endorsed by the American Federation of Teachers.

“Providing educators with the classroom supplies they need to prepare the next generation is a critical piece of educational success,” said Rep. Beatty. “Allowing both our Head Start and primary and secondary teachers to get reimbursed for expenses is not only good for their students, but it is also a matter of educational equity.”

If enacted, the REPAY Supplies Act would permanently extend the Classroom Expense Deduction offered to teachers who pay out of their own pockets for education supplies, and permit Head Start teachers to make the same above-the-line deduction for classroom supplies as their fellow educators. This $250 above-the-line deduction for teachers has been extended by Congress with bipartisan support each year since 2002. However, the classroom expense deduction expired at the end of 2014.

“In classrooms across the country, teachers give their all every day for their kids – even when that means reaching into their own pocket to ensure that those who come to school hungry, exhausted or stressed have what they need to focus on learning. In fact, the average teacher will spend hundreds of dollars on school supplies for their students. Making this tax deduction permanent is one small way to recognize this penchant for nurturing and caring that sustains so many of our nation’s kids – while also giving money back to hard-working Americans,” said President of the American Federation of Teachers Randi Weingarten.  “And I would add, that that penchant isn’t limited to our elementary and secondary grade educators, which is why AFT wholeheartedly supports extending this deduction to Head Start teachers – particularly since, in community-based public pre-K and Head Start programs, teachers with bachelor’s degrees earn only two-thirds of what kindergarten teachers earn. On behalf of our 1.6 million members, I want to thank Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio) for her leadership on this issue.”

Under current law, Head Start teachers are excluded from the income tax deduction for school supplies, equipment, and supplemental materials in the classroom. This legislation would allow Head Start teachers to subtract from their gross income up to $250 in expenses associated with the purchase of classroom supplies, just like teachers currently are able to do.