I’m part of an interest group with special tax breaks. If you’re a teacher, so are you – but don’t get too excited yet. The tax break isn’t all that big and it expired at the end of last year. For the past two years, teachers have been allowed to take a $250 deduction on their federal taxes. However, as with all of W’s tax cuts, this one had an expiration date. It was just a little shorter than the others.

While it was nice that the feds recognized that teachers are spending their own money on materials for the classroom, $250 really doesn’t cover it. Various surveys over the years show that many spend much more. And while the money used to go for nice-to-have extras, today it’s often spent on the necessities that got lost in budget cuts.

But the Teacher Tax Credit may not be totally lost. Congress is currently debating bills making the break permanent and even increasing it – $400 in the House version, $500 in the Senate version. Considering the many large tax breaks offered to Halliburton and other politically connected friends, it’s the least they could do.