Jefferson City, Mo. – State Sen. Lauren Arthur, D – Kansas City, has filed Senate Bill 61 to help teachers cover out-of-pocket education costs by providing a tax deduction of up to $500 for unreimbursed classroom expenses.
“It’s no secret that many teachers in Missouri do not receive all the resources they need for their classrooms. Teachers often use their own money for books, supplies and instructional materials to help provide our children with quality education,” said Sen. Arthur. “Unreimbursed expenses put a financial strain on educators and their families. This simple tax deduction will help teachers recover some of these costs without draining the state of resources needed to fund public schools.”
Senator Arthur’s legislation would establish a 100 percent tax deduction up to $500 for unreimbursed educator expenses incurred by an eligible educator, beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2020. Qualified expenses would include the following: professional development courses related to the curriculum in which the educator provides instruction; expenses in connection with books, supplies, computer equipment and other equipment; and supplementary materials used in the classroom.
According to the Missouri State Teachers Association, teachers in Missouri make $9,000 less annually than the nationwide average for teachers. MSTA also reported that in the 2015-2016 school year, Missouri ranked 40th in teacher salary nationwide.
For a complete list of all bills filed for the 2019 legislative session, please visit the Missouri Senate’s website at senate.mo.gov.