Proposed Colorado bill would reimbuse teachers up to $1,000 for classroom supplies

A proposed bill would provide teachers with a tax credit of up to $1,000 a school year for money spent on classroom supplies if passed.
Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 6:01 PM MDT|Updated: Mar. 29, 2023 at 6:16 PM MDT
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DENVER (KKTV) - A proposed bill currently making its way through Colorado House of Representitives committees would provide teachers with a tax credit of up to $1,000 a school year for money spent on classroom supplies if passed.

House Bill 1208 would allow full-time, licensed, public school teachers to recieve an income tax credit meant to reimburse some of the out-of-pocket supply costs many teachers incur yearly. According to a U.S. Department of Education survey, teachers were spending an average of $479 a year on classroom supplies pre-COVID-19 pandemic.

Lawmakers told 11 News the funding for this would likely come from the state’s TABOR refund, but if the bill were to pass, if that surplus would run out, there would be uncertainties.

“I have to be cautious and be realistic that given the history of attempts like this in the past and given our budget situation currently, it’s going to be something we really have to drill down on the details,” State Representitive Marc Snyder said.

The “history of attempts” Snyder refers to is a number of attempts to push similar bills through state legislature in recent years, all of which were ultimately unsuccessful.

Snyder said his feelings on the bill are mixed, as he wants to get money into the pockets of teachers, but feels like bills like this may just be “band-aids” on a bigger problem of teacher pay.

“Putting money in their pockets is important, but I also worry that these band-aids, so to speak, would inhibit or dissuade us from really dedicating additional long-term sustainable funding into K 12,” Snyder said.

The Colorado Parent Teacher Association (PTA) has a similar stance, saying they would prefer if the money went directly to school finances or teacher compensation.

“$1000 tax credit is just not going to be adequate, and frankly, it’s a little insulting,” Evie Hudak, Vice President of Communications for the Colorado PTA, told 11 News.

The House Finance Committee, which Snyder is a part of, is scheduled to review the bill on Monday.