It's a sad truth that many teachers spend hundreds of dollars out of pocket for classroom supplies and snacks for children who may not have them for whatever reason. According to Schooltastic, teachers who were surveyed spent $530 of their own money on classroom items on average. In poverty stricken areas, that number went up to $672.
Currently, teachers are allowed to deduct up to $250 of that amount on their taxes. There was recent uproar after the House version of President Donald Trump's tax bill eliminated that deduction, though it was restored in the final version that President Trump signed just before Christmas.
On Saturday, The Office actor Jenna Fischer took to Twitter incorrectly claiming that the final version of the bill eliminated the deduction. She wrote in a now deleted tweet:
“I can’t stop thinking about how school teachers can no longer deduct the cost of their classroom supplies on their taxes…something they shouldn’t have to pay for with their own money in the first place. I mean, imagine if nurses had to go buy their own syringes. #ugh”
Twitter users pointed out the error, with Fischer responding on Christmas day.
Thanks for your tweets! I had some facts wrong. Teachers surveyed by Scholastic in 2016 personally spent an average of $530 on school supplies for students. Teachers who worked at high-poverty schools spent an average of $672. The tax deduction was capped at $250.— Jenna Fischer (@jennafischer) December 25, 2017
The actor wrote:
“Thanks for your tweets! I had some facts wrong. Teachers surveyed by Scholastic in 2016 personally spent an average of $530 on school supplies for students. Teachers who worked at high-poverty schools spent an average of $672. The tax deduction was capped at $250.”
It's worth noting that the $250 cap has been in place since December 2015, and was not altered by the new tax bill.
Fischer apologized yet again on Wednesday, with another tweet...
Fischer wrote in part:
“I feel genuinely bad about getting my facts wrong and I’m sorry. I did not mean to spread misinformation. I was well-intentioned, but I was behind on my research.”
“I’m not ashamed to say I was wrong and I’m not ashamed to correct it. I was taught that taking responsibility is the right thing to do.”
Twitter users had mixed feelings about the apology.
You should be applauded for your honesty. But seriously don’t be too hard on yourself. The way this monstrosity of a bill was thrown together was a disgrace. We are still finding out provisions that were added or deleted at the last minute. #GOPTaxBillScam— Peter Belmonte (@Pabesq) December 27, 2017
Awesome I didn’t know it got put back can’t wait to tell my cubs teachers— sasha barrese (@randomsasha) December 27, 2017
The thoroughness and sincerity of your retraction shows a tremendous amount of integrity, but it was an understandable mistake - the provision did exist, and was likely only taken out because people like you refuse to let the ones who put it in there work in secret.— Alternative Fax (@daveblend) December 27, 2017
That response is exactly what this country is missing. Thanks Jenna (Pam)— Chuck Schroeder (@ceschroeder66) December 27, 2017
As an elected official who has to deal with misinformation regularly, I genuinely appreciate this. Hopefully this new dialogue you’ve started on good facts and responsibility will set the tone for 2018. Thank you. (Also, teachers still need our help, too)— Ryan Silvey (@RyanSilvey) December 28, 2017
Your honesty and integrity are appreciated! And, as a result, the surplus will be use to get everyone in The Office new chairs instead of a new copier!— Michael Gary Scott (@michaelgclump) December 28, 2017
Well done! Thank you! While I don’t always agree with you on political issues, I think you’re an amazing actor and my respect for you has increased incredibly.— Tammi Gerchow (@tgerchow) December 28, 2017
What do you think?