Teachers Are Spending More Out-of-Pocket Money On School Supplies

By Samantha Douchette   , , , No comments

Being a teacher is hard enough. With the budget for education declining, more and more teachers are spending their own money on school supplies for their classes.

According to a new study released by the National School Supply and Equipment Association (NSSEA), public school teachers spent $3.2 billion on educational products during the 2012-2013 school year. Half of that money, $1.6 billion, came from the teachers’ own pockets.

The study focuses on parent and teacher spending habits and what factors influence school choice and shopping preferences. The NSSEA and Perry Research Professionals surveyed 400 schools this spring. The average teacher spent $198 of their own money on instructional materials, $149 on school supplies and $139 on other materials.

What’s even more astounding is that 99.5 percent of the teachers that responded reported spending some of their own money. According to a White House report, in the 2011-2012 school year, 68 percent of schools that responded to a survey said they had eliminated jobs, including core-class teachers and teacher assistants. If some of these teachers are spending their own money to compensate for the educational budget crisis, why should they lose their jobs? Education is fundamental to a successful career and life, and the teachers in our local schools are responsible for those building blocks. Shouldn’t we want to keep the teachers that are willing to go out of their way for our children?

The report also shows that teachers are using the Internet more frequently than ever. Sixteen percent reported ordering materials online. That’s not the only way they are taking advantage of modern technology. 80 percent said they obtained spelling and math worksheets from the Internet.

One must set aside a great appreciation to those who teach. The education system in the United States has many flaws, but the people who become teachers care. They make sure that their students are learning even if it means spending a little extra money.

While you must be a member of NSSEA to view the report for free, you can get a copy of it for a $199 fee.