It's estimated that teachers spend an average of $493 out of pocket on school supplies for their own classrooms, with some spending $1,000 or more of their personal finances just to get by. As education budgets face major shortfalls in the recession, out of pocket expenses are expected to increase significantly, merely adding insult to injury.
America's teachers are professionals that have dedicated their talents to the very future of this great nation - our children - and they deserve our support and appreciation for all they do.
As we celebrated National Teacher Appreciation Week, I was especially proud to have introduced my first stand-alone bill before the U.S. House of Representatives on behalf of those that do so much for us. HR 2329 extends the educator expense deduction which allows elementary and secondary education teachers to claim an above-the-line tax deduction for expenses they incur to provide books, supplies, equipment or other materials for their classrooms through 2011.
Without this expansion, the deductions would not be available for this year. I chose this measure to be my first stand-alone bill because I believe our teachers are deserving of some tax relief and some recognition of their sacrifices.
As the son of a teacher and as a teacher myself, I've seen firsthand how selfless so many teachers are and how they give of themselves to their schools and to their students. We should never forget how our teachers inspire, mold and motivate our children. The students in their hands are the future of this great country.
HR 2329 is the least we can do, especially in this economy. Teachers know they will never get rich teaching elementary, middle school or high school. They choose to teach because of a great love for their students and the opportunity to affect a child's future in a positive way. It is why my mother taught, and part of the reason why this former high school teacher stood up to run for Congress.
While I am fighting for our district and our school systems in Washington, I implore you to spend some time thanking those teachers who've impacted your own life or that of your children.
Speaking as a teacher, a simple thank you can mean the world.