East Texas teachers say new tax break ‘does not make a difference’

For the first time in 20 years, teachers can deduct more for school supplies, but costs still outpace this support.
Published: Sep. 8, 2022 at 1:14 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LINDALE, Texas (KLTV) - For the first time in 20 years, teachers can deduct more for school supplies.

According to the IRS, teachers will now be able to deduct up to $300 for out-of-pocket classroom expenses in 2022, up from $250.

According to Velma Penny Elementary School Principal Kaela Deslatte, the additional $50 does not compare to what the teachers spend to provide their children with the best education.

“With inflation and everything, it just does not even come close to meeting those needs,” Deslatte said. “We have grants that are wonderful and help us in our community, but still they are still spending their own money on a lot of those things.”

Velma Penny Elementary School Music Teacher Wendi Hicks decorates her room to engage the students.

“I wanted them to come in, ready to learn, with just a feel of excitement, and happiness and joy,” Hicks said.

But, decorating her classroom and buying the necessary supplies to teach her students comes with a price. “I probably spend out of pocket at least $500,” Hicks said. “I have things I still need to get, so it (the tax deductible) doesn’t really make a difference.”

Deslatte said some of the out-of-pocket spending goes to decorating the classroom, bringing snacks for students who wouldn’t otherwise have any, and creating engaging lessons like using a burger as a prop to explain how to structure a paragraph. “The students are going to remember it more when they’ve been engaged and hooked in,” Deslatte said.

Deslatte said the teachers go above and beyond to create engaging lessons. “They have one of the most important jobs in this country educating our future, and we need to do better.”