This time of year, teachers are heading back to the classroom where most of them will spend their own money on supplies, decorations, resources, and other things that benefit their students. The IRS announced this month that K-12 teachers could claim an extra fifty dollars on their school supply tax credit this year, bumping the previous deduction from $250 to $300.
While no one would argue that an increase is bad, a survey from the nonprofit group Adopt a Classroom suggests it probably doesn’t help much. Most teachers report spending far more than that amount on their classrooms.
We asked teachers what they think about this announcement from the IRS.
“So only $2K under the estimate we actually spend. Excellent.”
“I’d love to see a classroom funded with only that $300.”
“So glad that I can deduct the PPE… that my district won’t provide for me… during a pandemic…”
“SO GLAD I can now afford *does calculations* two therapy sessions to recover from the trauma of teaching during a pandemic!”
“I love that they announced it as a glittering ThReE HuNdRed DoLLaRs and not what it actually was: an increase of fifty dollars from a deduction barely worth the trouble.”
“Can’t wait to go buy my students the Chromebooks and body armor they desperately need with that $300.”
“My deepest thanks for the extra spoonful of gruel, sire…”
“I will spend every last dime of that money on a little word-of-mouth library in my school full of books about antiracism, queer people, BIPOC… viva le résistance!”
“Wow, a $50 tax credit for staying in the profession when I could be making $50K more doing something our public institutions respect more!”
“This covers the pay raises that have been owed to us for decades, right?”
“Sorry, too busy to give my thoughts on how helpful this is as I’m preparing to teach a class of 60 middle school students—30 in person and 30 in the next room over via Zoom simultaneously because of the teacher shortage.”
Of course, there were plenty of comments from dissenters, saying $50 is nothing to sneeze at, teachers should be grateful, etc. I clicked on their profiles. These people weren’t teachers.
Personally, I love it when educators get fired up.
I, for one, am not about to stand in their way.