LANSING – Rep. Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids) has introduced a House Bill 5817, which would create a tax credit for teachers who pay out-of-pocket for classroom supplies. The credit would be given to out-of-pocket classroom purchases up to $250 – a sum many teachers spend because school funding cuts have made it impossible for school districts to outfit classrooms with basic learning supplies, such as pencils and paper.

“Teachers have one of the most important jobs there is – giving our kids the absolute best education so that they can go on to great colleges and promising careers,” Brinks said. “Teaching was already a demanding job, but the cutbacks in school funding have made it even more challenging. Teachers have stepped up to the plate to buy necessary classroom supplies out of their own pocket, and they deserve to receive a tax credit for the money they spent to benefit all of our kids.”

Teachers regularly pay out-of-pocket for classroom supplies. According to a recent survey of teachers performed by education insurer Horace Mann, 94 percent of all teachers paid out-of-pocket for classroom supplies, and 56 percent of teachers spend more than $200 annually on their classrooms*.

“Teachers are opening their wallets and using their own hard-earned pay to make up for cuts to classroom funding,” Brinks said. “While I’m grateful that teachers are so dedicated to their work, they deserve to be paid back. I urge my colleagues to create this tax credit for our hardworking teachers.”