SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — A new bill in the State Capitol would give money back to college professors for buying materials for their classroom.

Right now, K-12 teachers get a $500 yearly state tax credit to reimburse them for classroom supplies. Senator Paul Faraci (D-Champaign) filed a bill that would expand the credit to include college professors.

“Teachers and educators at all levels play a vital role in shaping our future generations, and it is important that we support their efforts in every way we can,” Faraci said. “Expanding the income tax credit for classroom materials to include college educators is a common-sense step towards providing them with the resources they need to enhance the learning experience for their students.”

College administrators say the tax credit would go a long way to help retain faculty.

“One of the things we’re trying to do is be more flexible in terms of our ability to hire people, you know from other states and those kinds of things,” University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Chancellor Dr. Robert Jones said. “We got to think out of the box about how we make sure that the state of Illinois and all of his agents, including universities, have the ability to attract and retain the best and the brightest faculty, the best and the brightest staff.”

Faraci said if passed, the proposal can help cut educators’ overall costs.

“We can do our part to provide a little bit of effort, a little bit of support, a little bit to offset their overall costs when it comes to just trying to be an educator and do their jobs,” Faraci said.

Late Champaign senator Scott Bennett was a big supporter of higher education, serving as the chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee. Faraci said he has to continue Bennett’s legacy.

“Everything that Senator Bennett did has an influence on me,” he said. “And we’re going to do everything we can to help fulfill his legacy moving forward.”