Graves comes to the aid of the nation’s teachers

U.S. Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO) recently introduced a bill to increase and expand the above-the-line deduction for certain expenses that come out of the pockets of America’s preschool, elementary and secondary school teachers.

“94 percent of teachers buy classroom supplies with their own money. They shouldn’t have to shoulder that burden,” Rep. Graves tweeted on Monday, citing data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

The congressman on Aug. 9 sponsored the Teacher Tax Deduction Enhancement Act of 2019, H.R. 4180, with U.S. Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay (D-MO) to increase the income tax deduction for full-time teachers from $250 to $500 a year (indexed for inflation).

For the first time, the bill also would make a $250 deduction available to part-time teachers and would permit preschool teachers in state-recognized schools to take a deduction.

“Our teachers work incredibly hard to provide the best possible education for our students,” said Rep. Graves. “They often spend their own money to provide much-needed supplies and materials for their classrooms.” 

NCES data shows teachers independently spend roughly $479 or more per year on student supplies for their classrooms.

“Enhancing the teacher tax deduction will help our teachers with these costs as they strive to make sure that kids receive the best learning experience possible,” Rep. Graves said.

The National Education Association applauded Rep. Graves and his colleague for introducing the bill, saying it “would be a real win for our members and the students that they educate.”