JEFFERSON CITY — K-12 teachers could receive up to $500 in tax deductions under a bill addressed by House lawmakers this week.
Rep. Ann Kelley, R-Lamar, said House Bill 314 would reimburse teachers for all expenses related to educational purposes.
Kelley, Bill’s godmother, said she typically spent $1,000 out of pocket for school-related expenses when working as a teacher. She said that based on her experience, she thinks teachers might be willing to spend more if they know they will be compensated somewhat.
Some lawmakers, like Rep. Scott Cupps, R-Shell Knob, said the bill would be especially helpful in specialized classroom settings, such as those where his wife teaches.
“When you get into some of these specialist areas where they are, for lack of a better term, high-risk students, these teachers across the spectrum are spending a lot of their own money and resources in these situations” , said Cupps.
Rep. Travis Fitzwater, R-Holts Summit, said he didn’t think the $500 tax deduction would be enough.
“I would definitely be interested in seeing that number go up,” Fitzwater said, “maybe $1,000 or some other level.”
Kelley said she would be willing to increase the amount of the tax deduction, but didn’t want to push it too high in order to ensure the legislation had a chance.
“I wanted something that would reach everyone,” Kelley said.