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Collins, Bennet Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Expand Tax Deduction to Include Early Childhood Educators

Legislation Will Ensure Educators of Young Children Are Eligible for the $250 Deduction K-12 Teachers Currently Receive

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), a member of the Senate Education Committee, and Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, introduced the Supporting Early-Childhood Educators’ Deductions (SEED) Act, a bipartisan bill that would allow early childhood educators to claim the existing above-the-line $250 tax deduction for K-12 teachers. Expanding this deduction to early childhood educators would help them cover the cost of supplies, books, and other materials for their classrooms.

“In Maine and across the country, we are fortunate to have so many dedicated educators who work hard to ensure that every child has a learning environment that is safe, welcoming, and enriching,” said Senator Collins. “In spite of tight budgets and their own modest salaries, it is truly remarkable how often teachers use money out of their own pockets to purchase classroom supplies for their children. As the author of the original $250 tax credit for K-12 teachers, I am delighted to join this effort to expand this benefit to pre-K educators. This tax credit will help more people by reimbursing early childhood educators for the resources they invest in our children’s future.”

“Educators work tirelessly to create a safe and encouraging learning environment for our kids,” said Senator Bennet. “And many Colorado teachers go well beyond the call of duty, using their own money to provide additional materials for their students. Expanding the current above-the-line tax deduction to include early childhood educators will help ensure those who teach our nation’s youngest children can provide their students with the supplies they need to succeed.”

Studies have shown that teachers spend an average of $530 of their own money in the classroom. Senator Collins authored the law that created the above-the-line deduction in 2002 to allow qualifying K-12 teachers and other eligible educators such as counselors and principals to deduct up to $250 of expenses incurred for classroom supplies. In 2016, Senator Collins secured a provision in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that made the tax deduction permanent. However, educators of children in pre-K and younger are not currently covered by the educator expense deduction.

U.S. Representatives Conor Lamb (D-PA), Tom Reed (R-NY), Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), and Jackie Walorski (R-IN) introduced companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives in September.

The SEED Act is endorsed by the American Federation of Teachers, Teach for America, First Five Years Fund, and Trying Together.

Click HERE to read the bill text.