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Teachers Spend Over a Billion on School Supplies

As kids prepared to return to school this year, parents found themselves with back-to-school shopping lists like they’ve never seen before.  In addition to the usual items like pencils, paper, crayons and glue, they were being asked to provide cleaning supplies, computer paper and other items usually provided by the schools themselves.

Of course, these expanded school supplies lists came courtesy of the budget cuts that have led public schools across the country to lay off teachers and eliminate programs.

But while parents may grumble about being asked to contribute more out of their own pockets, teachers are used to it.  Every year, they shell out lots of their own hard-earned money to buy school supplies and instructional materials for their students.

According to a report by the National School Supply and Equipment Association, public school teachers in the U.S. spent $1.33 billion purchasing supplies for their classrooms last year.  That figure comes to about $356 per teacher.

And as large as that number is, it’s actually smaller than in previous years. Per teacher expenditures in the 2007-2008 school year were $395 and in 2005-2006, it was a staggering $552.

That’s a lot of money to spend just to do your job, right?  I think so and would like to take this opportunity to thank all those dedicated teachers who spend their own money to make sure their students have what they need to learn.  And I would also like to formally apologize for all the grumbling I did about the $75 I spent on my own kid’s supplies.

Image:  AMagill/Flickr

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