The National Center for Education Statistics estimates that 94% of teachers spend their own money supplying their classrooms with supplies and supplies.
To reduce these expenses, the state offers teachers who purchase supplies a tax deduction of $ 250. According to Rep. Heather Keeler (DFL-Moorhead), this results in a reduction in tax liability of only around USD 17.
She sponsors a bill that aims to offset more of these costs by setting up a refundable income tax credit for parenting expenses.
The bill was passed 16-0 by the House’s Education Policy Committee on Wednesday. It now heads the House Taxes Committee. The attendant is waiting for measures by the Senate Tax Committee. Senator Mary Kunesh (DFL-New Brighton) is the sponsor.
“We have some teachers who spend nearly $ 1,000 in their classrooms every year on things like pencils, Kleenexes, study tools, but also trash cans and books and things that help our children so much,” said Keeler.
The proposal would provide a credit equal to 25% of an educator’s eligible expenses, up to a maximum of $ 250 per educator. Credit will expire for individual taxpayers with income greater than $ 40,000 and for married taxpayers filing joint tax returns with income in excess of $ 80,000.
“It’s really aimed at our educators who are in their early years or on this lower pay scale when they start setting up their classrooms,” said Keeler. “And it makes it a refundable tax credit, so your actual tax burden goes down.”
Eligible are K-12 teachers, trainers, consultants, headmasters or helpers at a school for at least 900 hours during the school year. So would certain preschool teachers.
Karen Taylor, an eighth-grade teacher at Horizon Middle School in the Moorhead School District, expressed support for the suggestion that the supply shortage had been a persistent problem throughout her career and was affecting educators’ livelihoods.
“One in five prospective teachers works a second job to support themselves, pay off student loans, and apparently buy supplies for their students,” she said. “HF1317 seems like a way of saying thank you to the teachers who invest in Minnesota’s children.”
Rep. Sondra Erickson (R-Princeton) supported the proposal but noted that a multi-faceted approach, including donations and fundraisers, should be used to ensure teachers and students have the resources they need.
“We also have to look to our communities because they have to understand that a school budget sometimes doesn’t allow for a teacher and draw attention and collect what I would say is the troops.”