Do teachers really pay for school supplies?

Teachers across the United States have reported that they are dipping into their own money to pay for school supplies for their pupils with almost zero reimbursements.

For public school teachers, a whopping 94% of teachers are using their, often mediocre, wage to pay for books, stationery and even batteries for remote controlled gadgets in their classrooms.

Do 94% of teachers pay for school supplies?

According to a study conducted by the National Center of Education Statistics, the average amount that teachers have spent out of their own salary for school supplies over the course of two years was roughly $479. Versus the the deduction to a teacher’s salary of $250 for buying school supplies, this barely amounts to half, let alone attempting to break even.

Unfortunately, instead of a raise, a compromise of keeping the deduction but not raising the amount was settled upon.

Teacher perks

Teachers also regularly take advantage in big sales or buying in bulk from Amazon on Prime Day or with Inspire on Amazon for educational resources . They also from Target, who supply a special discount for teachers throughout the month of July.

It is not only subsidies from the teachers own pocket, it is common knowledge that they have also become heavily reliant on donations from friends, families, and charities for all manner of materials for classrooms.

Furniture such as rugs and bookshelves have been donated, books have been purchased from charity and thrift stores for books to go into younger kindergarten classes. These teachers are not looking to buy state of the art gadgets, they are buying books, pens, crayons, board markers, disinfecting wipes, notebooks, and plastic folders.

Parents supporting teachers

It is also not unusual for a teacher to request parents to buy supplies such as crayons, folders, pencils and other small items that can help with student morale. Without these art supplies to help the kids let out their artistic, creative side to decorate the walls of the classroom, the school would seem so drab and boring to the kids.

Some schools do try to reimburse their staff, but they are also struggling with the chronic under-funding that it is hard to offer much in the way of reimbursement.

Funding for teachers

Teachers have also been turning to new teaching apps and crowdfunding online to find ways to help their pupils get the education they need. Our website, Classful, helps make it possible to donate to teachers, specifically the items they state they need. We can also help teachers to raise the money for class trips and initiatives that can help mold our kids’ futures for the better.

They’re paying for our youth!

While it seems absurd that a teacher should be buying school supplies with their own money, it is largely due to the serious under-funding for school supplies. There is no other profession where the worker is expected to help purchase necessary tools for the work they are about to undertake.

It is especially disconcerting that not only are teachers paying out of pocket for supplies which the school should be able to provide, but they have not seen significant wage growth in many years. The average take home for a fully qualified and college educated teacher is roughly $58,000 per year.

Many teachers do not do their jobs for the money, they don’t get paid enough in many cases for that. However, they do care deeply for their pupils and by putting their hand in their own pocket before resorting to asking for donations, they really are going above and beyond to educate our youth.