September 27, 2021

Supporting Early Childhood Educators through Deductions (SEED) Act

Representatives Conor Lamb (PA-17), Tom Reed (NY-23), Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) and Jackie Walorski (IN-02) have introduced the bipartisan The Supporting Early-Childhood Educators through Deductions (SEED) Act to allow early childhood educators to claim the existing above-the-line $250 tax deduction for K-12 teachers.

About the SEED Act

The deduction would help pre-K teachers defray the cost of providing supplies for their classrooms, whether they itemize or take the standard deduction.

“The work that pre-K teachers do is critical to starting kids off on the right foot and Congress needs to ensure that all teachers have the tools they need to support their students,” said Lamb in a press release.  “Pre-K teachers should be focused on their work in the classroom, they shouldn’t have to worry about out-of-pocket costs for materials and supplies.”

This legislation would make early educators who purchase supplies with their own money eligible for the $250 teacher tax deduction, reducing their tax liability when they provide school supplies for their students.

According to the release, studies have shown that teachers spent an average of $530 of their own money in the classroom.  In 2002, Congress created an above-the-line educator expense deduction to allow qualifying K-12 teachers and other eligible educators such as counselors and principals to deduct up to $250 of expenses incurred for books, supplies, and other supplementary materials.  Pre-K teachers are not covered by the educator expense deduction currently, although they earn significantly less than their peers who teach in the K-12 system.

Additionally, teachers in high-poverty schools spent nearly 40 percent more than their peers elsewhere, with one in 10 spending $1,000 or more.  In some cases, educators in low-income districts buy clothing and personal hygiene products, in addition to school supplies, for kids who are especially in need.

The SEED Act is endorsed by Trying Together, Pennsylvania Association for the Education of Young Children (PennAEYC), Pennsylvania Head Start Association (PHSA), Teach For America, First Five Years Fund, Allegheny County Department of Children Initiatives, A Plus Schools, Boys & Girls Club of Western PA, Asset Inc., the Latino Community Center Pittsburgh , United Somali Bantu of Greater Pittsburgh, and Allies for Children.

More Information

Read the press release or visit Lamb’s website for more information on the SEED Act.