Gifts for teacher appreciation week

May 07, 2018 : Sharita Hutton

As school desks across the United States soon overflow with flowers, candy and cards in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week the question becomes: what are the actual needs and wants of school teachers?

Teacher Appreciation Week, set for May 7-11, is a time for students and parents to say “thank you” for the efforts school teachers display to millions of school-aged kids on a daily basis.

“I love getting their cards and seeing what they write,” said Sara Doolin, school teacher. “Knowing what they see and will remember about being in my classroom, that is the fun part.”

Sara Doolin has taught 5th grade students for the past 11 years in the Olathe Kansas School District. Doolin, like many other teachers across the United States, often find ways to incorporate new ideas into her teaching and some of that means spending her own money.

As the cost of supplies continues to rise, the educator expenses deduction will remain the same under the tax reform bill. Teachers will still be able to deduct $250 per year of the supplies they purchase with their own money for use in the classroom.

“I am sure teachers love the candy and coffee, but my needs this year are supplies for my classroom,” said Doolin. “Trying not to go out of my own budget too much, but be able to supply the students with daily needs is sometimes tough.”

And Doolin is not alone. More and more teachers are leaning on parents to help offset the cost of some of the daily needed supplies. If parents donate supplies to an eligible nonprofit that supports the school, such as a parent teacher organization or association, they may be able to deduct the cost of the donated supplies if they itemize their deductions.

So, teachers should keep receipts and remember the educator expense deduction is one that teachers can take whether they itemize or take the standard deduction. Items that are eligible include school supplies, computer equipment, books and even athletic equipment for physical education teachers.

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Sharita Hutton

Sharita Hutton

Newsroom Anchor

Sharita Hutton started at H&R Block for tax season 2013 and serves as lead anchor for the H&R Block newsroom. Before joining H&R Block, Hutton was a local broadcast reporter and anchor for several of Kansas City’s news channels. A former college basketball player, Hutton loves spending time coaching her two children in all of their athletic endeavors.

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