It's no secret many teachers dig into their pockets to pay for classroom supplies each year.
Target has a new way to help educators stretch those dollars.
Through July 21, the retailer is offering teachers nationwide a special 15 percent discount.
This is the first time Target is offering the discount on "select classroom supplies, from pens, pencils, crayons and markers to classroom storage and organization and tissues, hand sanitizer and more."
“As many teachers begin to think about the upcoming school year, the Teacher Prep Event helps them get the classroom supplies they need at a greater value," said Mark Tritton, Target's executive vice president and chief merchandising officer in a statement. "It’s a way for Target to acknowledge the role they play in going the extra mile for their students.”
But don't head to your local Target yet.
While teachers can cash in on the offer when shopping in-store and online, the first step is to sign up for the coupon at Target.com/teacherprep.
To verify eligibility, Target is working with third-party verification service SheerID. On Target.com, teachers will fill out a form and enter a school email address and the coupon will be emailed.
Teachers without a school email address can submit "any document that clearly shows your name and your school," according to the website.
Options include a "school ID card, letter of employment on school letterhead, current pay stub and “any official document that clearly shows your first/last name, current date, and status as a teacher," according to the website.
This offer is only being verified online, according to SheerID's frequently asked questions.
In a National Center of Education Statistics study released in May, 94 percent of teachers reported spending their own money on supplies.
The average amount teachers said they spent without reimbursement was $479, far more than the federal $250 tax deduction available to teachers.
About 44 percent said they spent $250 or less, while 36 percent spent from $251 to $500, the survey showed.
Target's teacher discount
Here is more information about the teacher discount:
- All teachers nationwide are eligible for the discount, including preschool teachers, homeschool teachers and college professors.
- Go to Target.com/teacherprep to register for a coupon.
- Online verification is required and Target is partnering with SheerID, a nationally-recognized eligibility verification services company.
- The single use coupon cannot be combined with any other Target category coupon.
- Eligible items for the discount include:
- Select classroom supplies: Pens, pencils, crayons, notebooks, folders, binders, arts and crafts items like markers, colored pencils, scissors, glue and classroom storage and organization.
- Essentials: Disinfecting wipes, facial tissue, hand sanitizer and food storage bags.
- The discount excludes trial and travel-size items and Bullseye’s Playground. For more information about eligible items, visit Target.com/teacherprep.
Kelly Tyko is a consumer columnist and retail reporter for Treasure Coast Newspapers and TCPalm.com, part of the USA TODAY NETWORK. Follow her on Twitter @KellyTyko and email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.