Inflation is hurting all of us in our effort to make ends meet. But perhaps the most adversely affected are brand-new teachers as they set up their classrooms for the start of the school year. While the educator expense deduction allows teachers to deduct up to $300 of out-of-pocket classroom expenses, studies indicate that Texas teachers spend over $800 in personal funds on classroom supplies. Most never get this money back.
Since 2016, Assistance League of Georgetown Area has helped over 145 brand new teachers with some of those classroom expenses through a program called Assist-a-Teacher, one of the organization’s many philanthropic efforts.
Janice Bailey, program chair and a former teacher herself can relate, saying “New teachers probably have about 80,000 thoughts swirling around in their head. It is such an exciting time and there is a huge desire to create classrooms that are creative, safe places that facilitate teaching and learning. Through Assist-a-Teacher, we’re trying to help them get their crucial first year off to the best start possible.”
The Assist-a-Teacher Committee purchases gift cards from a teacher supply store that can be used for initial classroom setup or throughout the year to meet these needs. Gift bags with the gift card, coupons to the Assistance League Thrift Shop, and a Payday candy bar to tide them over until their first paychecks were received. All were delivered with stories of their own from the Assistance League committee members, many of whom were veteran teachers.
“It is such a pleasure to help kick-start the school year with these excited new teachers,” shares Ms. Bailey. Since 2016, Assistance League of Georgetown Area has distributed over $27,000 to brand-new teachers in the Georgetown and Jarrell Independent School Districts.
Assistance League of Georgetown Area is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization with programs that champions self-esteem and academic achievement among children and families in Williamson County. For more information, visit www.assistanceleague.org/georgetown-area.