Ohio Teachers Want Congress to Keep Tax Deduction

A teacher at Cleveland's Campus International School reads to his class. (Credit: Ashton Marra/ideastream)
A teacher at Cleveland's Campus International School reads to his class. (Credit: Ashton Marra/ideastream)
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As Congressional leaders work toward a compromise on two very different versions of federal tax reform, an Ohio teachers’ group says a small provision in those bills would have a big impact on local teachers.

The House proposal—approved before the Thanksgiving holiday—wipes out a $250 tax deduction for teachers. The deduction helps educators recoup the dollars they spend annually on additional classroom supplies, like books or crayons.

“Teachers often spend out-of-pocket to make up for the lack of resources that schools have,” Ohio Federation of Teachers President Melissa Cropper said. 

As state funding for schools in Ohio has leveled off, Cropper says her 15,000 members are spending more and more of their own money to make sure students have what they need. Cropper estimated that’s anywhere from $600 to $1,000 a year. 

But if the tax credit is eliminated, Cropper said techers "are going to continue to buy what they need for their students."

"That’s what teachers have always done," she said, but added it would be a burden. 

The Senate version of the bill, which passed early Saturday morning, doubles the teacher tax deduction to $500.

Cropper said she’d like to see that provision become law and her group will continue to watch its progress in Washington.

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