Why are teachers buying school supplies?

July 16 21:46 2021
So what could cause teachers to spend hundreds of dollars a year to pay for children’s school supplies? It has a lot to do with caring about their students and wanting to fill the gap left by school funding deficits.

What motivates a teacher to purchase school supplies for their students?

There are two major causes for this. Some households cannot afford to purchase school materials for their children. That is why public school teachers continue to take money out of their own pockets — at least $450 every year. By the way, they are doing this out of the goodness of their hearts, as they will never be compensated.

The second reason is that many valued school programs have had their budgets reduced. As a result may parents and teachers have chosen to run popcorn fundraisers to raise the funds they need. Yet this often still isn’t enough to make up the difference. – Source

How bad is this situation?

USA Today reports up to 94% of teachers are spending money out of their own pockets. Suburban Maryland teachers said their district does provide them with materials, but those don’t last more than the first couple of months of the school year. Even then, the supplies cover only the bare necessities. One teacher estimated she spends $500 to $1,000 of her own money on school supplies. Her annual salary: $55,927.

One teacher stated, “It speaks to the passion teachers have and that we want our children to succeed,” Daniels said. “They’re not going to be able to succeed as well as they could if they’re not given the supplies they need.” — Source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/education/2019/08/29/teacher-first-day-school-supplies-list-target-staples-buy-shopping/2082791001/

Imagine a child’s teacher having to take on a second job to afford this

Nea.org interviewed a teacher named Serra Laurenco, from California. Notice what she said:

“Every year I start “back to school shopping” as soon as school gets out. I have to buy pencils (hundreds), erasers, white board markers, packs of crayons, scissors, glue sticks, pencil boxes for all my kids, cases of copy paper, index cards, colored pencils, markers, and more!! I spend an average of $3,000 every year. I purchase books for my class and individual students who don’t have any at home, sometimes backpacks and jackets for kids who need them as well. Being a teacher isn’t easy; we spend so much time on our profession and money from our pockets.” — Source: https://www.nea.org/advocating-for-change/new-from-nea/outofmypocket-educators-speak-out-buying-their-own-school

Could #hashtags make a difference?

Teachers all over America are using social media to help pay for school supplies. How are they doing it? Some are turning to GoFundMe, and celebrities too.

Enter the hashtag

Courtney Jones, an elementary-school teacher from Tyler, Texas, launched the trending #clearthelists campaign on Twitter. The movement started in closed Facebook groups for teachers helping each other pay for school supplies, but Jones encouraged them to broadcast their efforts publicly.

“The movement started as a way for teachers to support each other in a meaningful way,” Jones told Business Insider in an email. “I want to raise awareness for the dismal funding for not only teachers’ salaries, but for our resources to support our students.” — Source: https://www.businessinsider.com/gofundme-clearthelists-campaign-helps-teachers-pay-for-school-supplies-2019-8

Parents’ help is needed

Get involved in your PTA and local school community. Furthermore, reach out to see how you can assist with a local drive or fundraiser. Spread the word on social media. And most of all, show your children and their teachers that you care.

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