Teachers have long dipped into their own pockets to fund their classrooms. Across the country, the average educator spends $530 of her or his own money annually on supplies and other items - from apps to enhance their students’ experiences to food and clothes to meet their basic needs, according to Scholastic, the publishing, education and media company. Teachers in high-needs districts tend to spend 40 percent more than their peers. Educators can now claim a $250 school-supply deduction on their taxes; the U.S. House had proposed scrapping that at one point, but the tax bill expected to pass this week would preserve it. Here’s a look at what area teachers spend on school supplies, how that’s changed, and why the deduction matters:

How can you help?

Through Donors Choose, teachers list individual projects they need help funding. Search by school or town to find a project that interests you. The Fund for the School District of Philadelphia recently launched Philly Fundamentals, a site where principals post wishlists – from art supplies to money for college visits for students. Search by schools or projects.