The Coastal Packet: Maine teachers spend millions of their own money on schools

Friday, September 14

Maine teachers spend millions of their own money on schools

Maine Center for Economic Policy -  Maine’s teachers spent at least $4.2 million out of their own pockets on basic school supplies in 2016, the most recent year for which we have data, illustrating the inadequate public resources dedicated to educating the next generation of Mainers. Instead of asking educators, who are already underpaid, to foot the bill for the essentials needed to educated Maine students, the state should take steps to adequately fund public classrooms.

Teachers throughout Maine are being forced to pick up the slack caused by underfunding. The IRS publishes statistics on the number of Mainers who claim a $250 educator expense deduction on their annual federal income tax returns. In 2016, 16,610 Mainers claimed the deduction. That’s more than 95 percent of eligible educators, according to Census Bureau data.

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