Teachers Spent $1.3 Billion of Own Money on School Supplies

The National School Supply & Equipment Association says teachers spent $1.33 billion dollars out of their own pockets in the 2009-2010 school year to equip their classrooms with everything from craft supplies to software and games.

The Journal, a magazine that covers campus technology, reports:

"The report, 'The 2010 NSSEA Retail Market Awareness Study,' was based on a survey of 308 K-12 teachers in May 2010 conducted by Perry Research Professionals. It revealed that teachers spent on average $356 of their own money on supplies and resources, including an average of $170 on supplies and $186 on instructional materials. (Instructional materials were defined as software and games, as well as paper-based teaching aids and other non-equipment teaching materials; supplies were defined as printer paper, arts and crafts supplies, pencils, glue, and other similar supplies.)

"Despite the total $1.33 billion out of pocket price tag for classroom materials, average individual teacher expenditures were actually down this year compared with previous studies: $395 in a 2007-2008 NSSEA study and $552 in a 2005-2006 NSSEA study."

The story goes on to explain the reason behind the decline.

CNN Money profiles six teachers, who talk about what they used their own money for. One teacher says he spent $2,000 out of pocket.

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    Al Tompkins

    Al Tompkins is The Poynter Institute’s senior faculty for broadcasting and online. He has taught thousands of journalists, journalism students and educators in newsrooms around the world.


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