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Press Release



March 30, 2022
Contact: Christina Mazzanti

AAE Renews Call to Increase Educator Expense Deduction to $1000


Mission Viejo, CA – The Association of American Educators (AAE), a national non-union, professional association serving educators in all fifty states, acknowledges the first increase in the Educator Expense Deduction in twenty years, but renews its urgent call for Congress to increase the Educator Expense Deduction to $1000 to be more in line with educators’ actual out-of-pocket expenses to support their students’ learning goals.


Beginning this tax year, educators claiming the Educator Expense Deduction may deduct up to $300 of personal expenses spent on classroom supplies. AAE has proposed increasing the deduction to $1,000 and permitting up to $400 of home internet expenses to be included as a qualifying expense.


“Educators have always dipped into their own pockets to cover classroom expenses, fill gaps in needed supplies and technology, and stretched every dollar to meet students’ learning goals. The Educator Expense Deduction increase from $250 to $300 underscores the inflationary pressure that is hurting educators, not a reflection of how much educators are spending on unreimbursed expenses to benefit our kids,” noted AAE Executive Director Colin Sharkey. “The foresight to peg the popular deduction to inflation is to be applauded but is long overdue to increase the amount to $1,000 to match educator expenses and add the cost of broadband access, a necessity for educators.”


According to the National Center of Education Statistics survey, 94 percent of public school teachers report spending their own money to cover classroom expenses, filling gaps in needed supplies and technology to meet their students’ learning goals. Furthermore, 56 percent of teachers report spending more than $250, with the average teacher spending closer to $500 every year.


A 2016 survey by Scholastic revealed that teachers in high-poverty schools spend even more on average: around $672. Principals are even further above that, exceeding $1,000 in high-poverty schools. Leann Wagerle, an AAE member and middle school math teacher from Grants Pass, Oregon, spends hundreds of dollars on toothbrushes, deodorant, shoe-repair kits, and other necessities for her students who are homeless or living in poverty.


Another AAE member, Belinda Cundiff, an elementary school teacher from Climax Springs, Missouri, has been teaching for twenty-nine years and typically spends more than $1,000 to provide books, snacks, and other classroom supplies for her students. Educators such as Belinda and Leann exemplify the commitment our educators have to their students, and illustrate why this increase is sorely needed.


Sharkey added, “While every little bit helps, a much more substantial increase of the Educator Expense Deduction is desperately needed, and would show support for the leadership educators have shown in adapting to the challenges associated with instruction during the Coronavirus pandemic. AAE strongly encourages Congress to consider such an increase at the earliest possible opportunity.”


The Association of American Educators (AAE) is the largest national, nonunion, professional educator organization, advancing the profession by offering a modern approach to educator empowerment and advocacy—promoting professionalism, collaboration, and excellence without a partisan agenda. AAE is committed to a teaching profession that is student oriented, well respected, and personally fulfilling. AAE serves members in all fifty states and welcomes professionals from all education entities. Membership is $16.50 per month and includes $2 million professional liability insurance, employment rights coverage, professional resources, and many other benefits. Classroom teachers, paraprofessionals, administrators, student teachers, university professors, and supporters can learn more at