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GOP Tax Plan Ends Deductions For Teachers Buying School Supplies

Author: Melissa Caen

OAKLAND (KPIX 5) — The GOP tax plan eliminates the deduction that teachers can take for buying their own classroom supplies.

Bay Area teachers and parents, like Benita Yeager, a fourth grade teacher at Franklin Elementary School, don’t think that’s the right move.

Yeager doesn’t buy supplies because there’s a tax deduction, but says the deduction is nice to have.

“It’s just a petty little thing. Another thing you’re taking away from kids and education and teachers,” Yeager said.

A 2013 study showed that teachers spend nearly $1,000 on average in a school year.

Yaeger says she spends hundreds of dollars each year on school supplies. Much of it, she says, is for students who can’t afford basics like paper and pencils

“Every couple weeks, every month, you have to get more, the kids eat the pencils, or you know, you have to get more supplies, it’s just a continuous thing,” she said.

The need for supplies is so great that while we were at the school, we witnessed a company called Yoobi giving out 40 boxes worth of free supplies to classrooms.

There’s 425 items in every classroom pack and it includes all the fundamentals: pencils, crayons, markers.

Allison Mabbot works at Yoobi and says when people purchase Yoobi supplies, the company donates to classrooms.

“It’s not fair that teachers have to, you know, foot the bill,” Mabbot said.

But if the legislature does repeal the tax deduction, Yeager says she’ll still spend her own money on the kids.

“If I continue to teach, I’m going to continue spending money, whatever is needed to get through the day,” she said.

Yeager said knowing that that the GOP plan removes that deduction “kind of stings a little bit.”

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