As a former Florida certified teacher, I know the importance of making sure our children receive quality educational opportunities to succeed in life. Part of this success is ensuring that the teachers we've entrusted with our children's learning have the tools necessary to do their jobs. That is why I am proud to have cosponsored legislative bills that would help teachers improve their students' access to educational supplies.
The Educator Expense Deduction is set to expire at the end of this year and without congressional action, teachers will not be able to receive this small deduction for purchasing school supplies like books, pens, pencils, and computer equipment. Our teachers provide excellent education for our children and a deduction for their out-of-pocket educational supplies is one small way to show our gratitude for their hard work. Our children deserve every educational advantage we can provide them and we should be committed to an educational environment where neither teachers nor students worry about the availability of educational supplies.
The REPAY Supplies Act would permanently extend the existing $250 Educator Expense Deduction on teachers' federal income tax returns to offset their out of pocket educational supplies purchases. The Teacher Tax Deduction Enhancement Act allows a $500 tax deduction for full-time teachers who pay out of their own pocket for school supplies, as well as a $250 deduction for part time teachers. In state recognized schools, preschool teachers would also be allowed to claim the deduction.
I am committed to ensuring that Florida's teachers have the resources available to provide a world class education to our children and I will continue to fight for legislation that creates more opportunities for students, teachers and local school districts. By helping children achieve their full and unique potential, we not only strengthen our education system but also our community. With the right tools, we can help ensure that our future generations acquire the skills needed to lead our great nation in the years to come.