WASHINGTON—Teachers who spend money out of their own pockets to buy classroom supplies will no longer be able to take it
off their taxes if the tax bill proposed by Republican Congressional leaders Nov. 2 goes through. The measure would eliminate the $250 “educator expense deduction,” which can be claimed to cover books, paper, athletic supplies, computers and software, and professional development courses. “As educators spend more and more of their own funds each year to buy basic essentials, Republican leaders chose to ignore the sacrifice made by those who work in our nation’s public schools to make sure students have adequate books, pencils, paper, and art supplies,” National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen García said in a statement. U.S. teachers on average spend more than twice the allowed deduction buying classroom supplies, according to a 2016 survey by Scholastic. “Things I have purchased with this money: Pencils. And more pencils. And even more pencils,” a West Virginia teacher posted on Twitter Nov. 2.