Teachers Who Buy School Supplies No Longer Get A Tax Deduction Thanks To GOP Tax Bill

by Mike Julianelle
Photo via Getty Images/SAUL LOEB
Image via SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

And the hits just keep on coming

The tax bill the GOP put together in secret, scribbled edits and additions to at the last minute, and rammed through the Senate in the middle of the night, has a lot of terrible aspects to it. The president promised relief to the people that need it most, but that doesn’t seem to be forthcoming.

The bill benefits the wealthiest Americans, providing high-income families with the biggest cuts. Lower income households are screwed, in ways both big and small. Just ask teachers.

The 400-plus page bill has all sorts of details that are still being uncovered, and most of them are good for the 1% and bad for regular folks. One such detail eliminates a tax deduction that helps teachers provide school supplies.

Currently, teachers can deduct up to $250 in expenses for their classroom, but according to Time, should the GOP Tax Cut become law, that will go away.

California’s Democratic Representative, Mark Takano, explained why on Facebook.

“Under the Republican plan, corporations are still allowed to deduct state and local taxes, workers are not. Corporations are still allowed to deduct business expenses. Teachers are not.”

It’s just one of the many aspects of the bill that favors business and corporations at the expense of people, in this case, teachers, who have a long history of being overworked and underpaid.

The National Education Association is not happy about this change, based on the statement from the NEA’s president, Lily Eskelsen Garcia. “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,” she said about the tax bill last week.

She wasn’t alone in her criticism.

The list of people who will be victimized by this tax bill is long.

Teachers have long gotten a bum rap in this country, and with this deduction removed, the repercussions will be felt by their students as well.

Eliminating this deduction for teachers reduces their ability to do their job at a time when it’s already harder than ever. Earlier this year, an Oklahoma teacher was forced to beg on the street to get the money needed to buy supplies for her classroom.

The $250 deduction isn’t a lot – a 2013 study by the National School Supply and Equipment Association revealed that 99.5% of teachers spend almost double that amount ($485) on supplies each year – but every little bit helps. This new tax bill does not.

Don’t worry though, they can deduct their private jets.