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Congress passes $250 tax break for teachers who paid for school supplies

A student writes out a math problem on

A student writes out a math problem on a chalkboard. Photo Credit: iStock

Teachers once again will be eligible for a $250 tax break meant to reimburse them for buying school supplies with their own money, Sen. Charles Schumer announced Wednesday.

The deduction, brought about through the Tax Increase Prevention Act passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama on Tuesday night, will help offset the $485 on average that the educators spend in their own classrooms.

Ed Vasta, head of the teachers union in Manhasset, said his members have long reached into their own pockets to pay for the materials they need.

"With the budget cuts, teachers have not been able to order supplies for their classrooms, especially at the elementary level," he said.

He said educators buy loose-leaf and construction paper, crayons, markers and chalk, as well as scores of other items. He said teachers will appreciate the break.

"It will go a long way to help people out," he said. "I am very happy that it went through. Many teachers will be satisfied that they have it again."

The tax benefit went into effect in 2002, Schumer (D-N.Y.) said, but expired on Jan. 1.

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