February 15, 2017

Castro Introduces Legislation to Make Pre-K Teachers Eligible for the Educator Expense Deduction

Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20), founding co-chair of the Congressional Pre-K Caucus, introduced legislation to ensure pre-k teachers who spend personal funds on classroom supplies receive the same tax deductions as K-12 teachers. The Pre-K Teacher Parity Act, H.R. 1013, amends the educator expense deduction to include early childhood educators, providing them with a $250 deduction for certain teaching expenses. 

“Teachers at all grade levels in this nation go above and beyond to give our kids the best possible education, sometimes even paying for school supplies out of their own pockets. While current law allows K-12 teachers to receive a tax deduction for that work-related expense, early educators are excluded from the benefit,” said Rep. Castro. “This legislation would allow all teachers to receive the same compensation for buying their students’ supplies. Laws are a reflection of a nation’s values, and ours should reflect America’s appreciation for pre-k teachers.”  

A survey conducted by Communities in Schools found that 91 percent of teachers spent their own money on supplies. Recognizing this fact, Congress codified an educator expense tax deduction for K-12 educators in the 114th Congress that allows for a $250 deduction from their taxes for certain qualified expenses. The Pre-K Teacher Parity Act expands that deduction to apply to early educators, including those with Head Start programs and early intervention programs under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). 

“Pre-K teachers are responsible for our kids’ learning at a critical stage of brain development,” added Rep. Castro. “We should do everything we can not only to expand access to high-quality early education across the country, but also to support the teachers who prepare our students for a lifetime of academic success.”