Teachers spending out of pocket for supplies, projects and field trips

Posted by on May 12, 2014 in News | Comments Off on Teachers spending out of pocket for supplies, projects and field trips

Teachers spending out of pocket for supplies, projects and field trips

Compiled by Nicole Shepard
For the Deseret News
Published: Thursday, May 8 2014 6:45 p.m. MDT
Updated: Friday, May 9 2014 10:42 a.m. MDT

On average, public school teachers have spent almost $500 out of pocket on their students so far this year, a 25 percent increase from 2010.

A problem once associated primarily with inner-city schools, the seemingly scant school budgets are proving insufficient for the needs of students in suburban and rural areas as well.

“A major driver of these out-of-pocket expenses: Education spending has remained relatively flat in the aftermath of the Great Recession of 2008 and 2009, which means education funding hasn’t kept up with inflation.” German Lopez of Vox.com reported.

According to a study by the National School Supply and Equipment Association, 92 percent of teachers spend their own money on classroom supplies, while 85 percent buy instructional materials for their students.

The NSSEA’s study also found that teachers are “the primary source of funding for classroom projects” and pay for 77 percent of classroom supplies. All this spending adds up to an estimated $1.6 billion a year nationwide.

“What other profession do you know where professionals have to use their own money to do their job properly?” Janet Fass, spokeswoman for the American Federation of Teachers, said to ABC News. “Do engineers [or] accountants spend their own money? Why should teachers when they are far lower paid than other professionals?”

With educational professionals making thousands of dollars less than the average American, this sacrifice for students can take a significant portion of their monthly income.  Read More…