CHICAGO (CBS) — Starting this year, teachers in Illinois can get state tax credit for the school supplies they buy with their own money and bring in to the classroom.

Ninety-two percent of teachers in the U.S. spend their own money to buy school supplies for their students. That figure comes from Democratic State Senator Tom Cullerton of Villa Park, who is a supporter of the new state tax provision and he is encouraging teachers to take advantage of it.

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The federal government already allowed teachers to claim tax deductions on supplies they bring to school, up to $250.

Now the state of Illinois will also let teachers claim up to $250 in deductions for supplies on their state income tax returns.

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“And this has been going on since I was a kid. You always hear about teachers, and when you talk to educators, telling you, ‘Oh yeah, I always bring in extra pencils every year.’

“Or, ‘I always have to bring in extra pads of paper. I buy 20 notebooks every year because there are kids who lose them or need them or their parents don’t have them,'” Cullerton said.

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State Senator Cullerton said the new state tax credit is for teachers, principals or teachers’ aides who work at least 900 hours during the school year.