This tax season, teachers across the country can deduct $300 for school supplies they purchased out of pocket, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced earlier this month. The $50 increase (from the current $250 annual limit) is the first since the IRS started offering these deductions in 2002.
The IRS added that the annual limit will rise in $50 increments in future years based on inflation adjustments. It’s an acknowledgment that teachers don’t receive enough money to supply their classrooms, but the federal government has also reported that $300 will not cover out-of-pocket expenses for the vast majority of educators.
The most recent data comes from a 2018 Department of Education report that asked teachers how much they spent on supplies in the 2014–2015 school year. The study found that 94% of teachers had to use their own money, spending an annual average of $479 (over $600 today, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics). The 2018 report also found that 7% of teachers spent more than $1,000 out of pocket.
The deductions are available for public and private school teachers, counselors, principals, and aids who spend at least 900 hours in the classroom over the course of the year. Art teachers, who usually need more expensive materials like paint, pastels, and colored pencils, are likely to spend more money than average on supplies.
Jake Jacobs, an art teacher at Bronx Park Middle School, told Hyperallergic that he spends around $600 out of pocket on supplies each year. Yet even with his own hefty contribution, he still relies on outside aid.
“I have always gotten extra supplies donated from businesses and friends,” Jacobs said. “Sometimes I go to yard sales and the people give me a break when they hear I’m a teacher buying for my classes.”
Nonprofits like Materials For the Arts help too, and so do parents: During the 2019–2020 fiscal year, 43% of New York City parents donated art supplies.
For Jacobs, the deduction increase of $50 is just a drop in the bucket. “But I’ll take it,” he said.
MTV’s The Exhibit Is Back With an Inflatable Dolphin
Episode four, in which artists tackled themes of justice and injustice, was the most lifeless of the reality TV show so far.
Florida Principal Ousted Over “Pornographic” Michelangelo Sculpture
Parents complained that the famous sculpture was shown to their sixth graders.
The Milton Resnick and Pat Passlof Foundation Presents The Feminine in Abstract Painting
Curated by Jennifer Samet and Andrea Belag, this group exhibition in NYC explores the feminine through aesthetics, as opposed to identity or gender.
Tickets to Sold-Out Vermeer Show Are Going for Hundreds
The online resale market for the Rijksmuseum’s smash exhibition is booming, with tickets selling on eBay for over $2K.
NYU Steinhardt Opens 2023 MFA Thesis Exhibitions
Taking place at 80WSE Gallery in New York’s Greenwich Village, Part I is on view from late March through April while Part II opens in May.
Miniature Worlds: Joseph Cornell, Ray Johnson, Yayoi Kusama
Through small-scale works, this exhibition at the Katonah Museum of Art in New York examines Cornell’s prominent role in the lives and careers of Johnson and Kusama.
Three Looted Antiquities at the Met Repatriated to Turkey
Nine other repatriated works were seized from Met Trustee Shelby White, whose collection was subject to a criminal investigation.
This week, the world’s lightest paint, Pakistan’s feminist movement, World Puppy Day, and were some of Vermeer’s paintings created by his daughter?
The Wider World and Scrimshaw
On March 28, join the New Bedford Whaling Museum online and in-person for a symposium on global carving traditions from across the Pacific Rim.
Who Will Decide on the Future of a Miami Native Burial Ground?
Native activists say sacred remains and objects dug up from a Brickell construction site should remain there, but mega-developer Jorge Pérez is pushing back.
How Can a Curator Approach South Asian Futurisms?
How do I acknowledge my shortcomings while reckoning with obscured histories and the exclusion of subaltern narratives in the fine art landscape? A working checklist for curators.
MCA Chicago Presents On Stage: Frictions
Will Rawls, Shamel Pitts | TRIBE, and Barak adé Soleil explore Blackness, queerness, movement, and dance in performances at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.
The Complicated Legacy of Camilo Egas
The Ecuadorian painter, a leading figure of Latin America’s Indigenismo art movement, has been both praised and scorned for his representation of Indigenous peoples.
Tom Jones Zeroes in on Ho-Chunk Visibility
“I think about the young kids, the teenagers, and I think being able to see yourself represented in art is so powerful,” says the artist.