Editor’s note: This story has been updated with the correct date for the first hearing on the bill, which is March 23.

DENVER (KDVR) — A bill is being discussed at the state Capitol that would put money back into the pockets of teachers during tax season. This is in an effort to offset some of the unexpected costs educators face during the school year, which has teachers talking.

Some educators across the state, out of the kindness of their own hearts and love for their students, dip into their own pockets to buy school supplies, educational materials and more for the classroom. If the bill passes, teachers could get their money back.

Teachers pay for supplies out of their own pockets

While class is in session, so is the state legislature, where lawmakers are hammering out numerous proposed bills. One of those would give licensed teachers a state income tax credit to offset the financial burden often placed upon them.

Kate Roome teaches sixth-grade literacy at Harmony Ridge P8 in Aurora.

“Any support that you can give to a teacher is wonderful,” Roome said. “We adore your children, and we absolutely love what we do.”

With love come sacrifice. Some teachers are handing over their own money to buy basic school supplies like notebooks and markers, specialized materials like noise-cancelling headphones and even snacks for students.

“I have definitely heard it from teachers, other teachers in my family and teachers that I work with,” Roome said. “Some of the basics are some of the things that teachers have to provide for themselves when already we’re on such a short budget.”

Roome added that it’s tough for teachers to provide on a tight budget.

“Do I pay off some of my credit card bill or do I provide these things for my students?” Roome said.

Colorado average teacher salary around $60K

Her dilemma is one that many educators encounter while their fight for preferable pay prevails. According to the FOX31 Data Desk, the average salary for Colorado teachers for the 2021-2022 school year was just over $60,000.

“There’s definitely still a huge amount of stress within the classroom. The burnout has not stopped, and teachers are leaving the field left and right,” Roome said. “We’re all in this together.”

Roome wants to see an increase in the education pay scale. She created an online fundraiser for her birthday, asking for donations to buy more supplies for her classroom. However, a newly introduced bipartisan bill could reimburse those costs.

Bill would reimburse teachers for supply costs

State Rep. Robert Marshall, D-Highlands Ranch, is a prime sponsor of the bill.

“This is a very specific problem that’s been well-known for decades,” Marshall said. “As far as the teacher compensation issues, this not a home run in the education game. It’s a nice base hit.”

The bill would grant full-time public school teachers employed for one year a $1,000 tax credit and a $500 tax credit to educators teaching for half a year. Two eligible teachers who file a joint income tax return may each claim the credit.

Marshall spoke about some of the pushback the bill has received.

“One pushback that I got was that the schools should be paying for this stuff, and I’m like, you’re absolutely right, but I’ve been listening to this for 50 years and it hasn’t happened,” Marshall said.

Lawmakers, including Marshall, recognize that this bill is not a fix to the teacher compensation issue or a solution for classroom burnout, but they believe, along with Roome, that it’s a step in the right direction.

Marshall said the bill has been introduced and assigned to the education committee, which will hold a first hearing on the measure next week, March 23. He added that his biggest fight will be with the Joint Budget Committee to get the funds.

Marshall hopes education advocates are on board with the bill and is encouraging anyone with questions to reach out to their representative to learn more.