What is the Cost of Going Back to School for Teachers?
As summer begins to wrap up and we reminisce on all of the fun things we did over the past three months, we realize it is time to gear up and get ready for another successful school year. When we think of going back to school, we think of all of the students growing up so quickly and moving on to the next grade level. Teachers are often overlooked when it comes to this time of year. Students tend to get a lot of attention (for good reason) when it comes to the topic of the first day back to school, but teachers deserve a lot of praise as well. Not only do they have to prepare all of their lesson plans for the upcoming year, but they also have to prepare the items they need for the classroom. This can be a difficult task not only because of the amount of time and thought that goes into it, but also for financial reasons. Let’s discuss why this can be a financial burden on teachers each year.
Where do Teachers Get the Funds They Need for Classroom Supplies?
The short answer we would all like to hear to this question would be from the funding the schools get. This unfortunately is not always the case. School budgets have been cut so much that these teachers are often reaching into their own pockets for the money in order to get their classrooms ready for the new school year.
According to USA Today, ninety-four percent of public school teachers say they spent their own money on supplies without reimbursement in the 2014-2015 school year. The average spent was $479! The study found that teachers in schools where there is a high poverty rate were more likely to spend personal money on supplies for their classroom needs. Eighty-six percent of teachers in schools that do not participate in free or reduced lunch school programs say they pay for their classroom supplies. Ninety-four to ninety-five percent of teachers in schools that do participate in these programs say they are paying for these supplies.
We recently found that a school in Central Pennsylvania whose student body has a poverty rate of 52% has cut teacher funding to just $99 PER YEAR! If the national average is $479 spent on school supplies by each teacher, that means that these teachers are spending almost 5 times their funding on these supplies. The other possibility is that their classrooms may not be fully supplied for the school year. This means that these students are not geared properly to have the best chance at a successful year of learning.
So the Question is….
What Can We Do to Help These Teachers?
Ensuring they get the proper funding can be a near impossible task. We have seen constant budget cuts making teachers reach deeper and deeper into their pockets each year to supply their classroom. So here are a few things you can do to help:
- Participate in fundraisers with your school’s PTO program. These programs are often in need of volunteers to help organize and execute fundraisers for the school.
- Ensure your kids are properly equipped for the upcoming school year. This means purchasing all of their back to school supply needs to help alleviate some of the burden on the teachers. There are many ways to go about doing this, but a surefire way to do it to help benefit your school and teachers is through School Supply Boxes Supply Your School Program. This program works directly with schools to generate boxes of school supplies for each grade and teacher. The supplies are hand-picked by the teachers which ensures that the parents are buying exactly what the teacher requires each student to bring to class. This eliminates the purchasing of unnecessary or incorrect supplies. Best of all, the program works directly with the school to provide teachers with funds and supplies needed for the upcoming year!
School budgets continue to get cut and teachers are having to pay for some of their supplies out of their own pockets. On average, teachers spend $479 per year on their classroom supplies and some budgets for these teachers have been cut to about 1/5th of this average cost. This can be very significant for them to have to pay for themselves in order to properly equip their classrooms with the supplies needed. While education funding continues to get cut by some states, there are some things you can do to help. You can participate in fundraisers with your school’s PTO program by volunteering or you can ensure your kids are properly equipped by purchasing their back to school supplies through approved supplies from School Supply Boxes. Find a way to ensure your child is prepared with the supplies they need get the education they deserve.