Report: Teachers will spend $820 each on their classrooms this year | Wednesday Morning Coffee
Already stressed by the pandemic, educators will dig into their pockets for decor, supplies
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Good Wednesday Morning, Fellow Seekers.
It might only be the beginning of August, but if you’re the parent or guardian of a school-age child, the chances are pretty good that you’re already thinking about a trip to the local big-box store for back-to-school supplies.
And you won’t be the only one: Already stressed and stretched by the pandemic, classroom teachers will be digging into their own pockets to make sure their students have such basics as pencils, paper, and books this school year, according to a new report.
Nationwide, teachers will spend $3.2 billion on their classrooms this year, or about an average of $820 each, according to My eLearning World, a publication focused on educators.
Meanwhile, teachers only will be allowed to deduct $300 towards those expenses on their federal tax returns, the report’s author, Scott Winstead, wrote.
“Surveys have shown that almost all teachers say they pay for supplies for their classrooms without getting reimbursed,” Winstead wrote. “And despite recent increases, the educator expense deduction still isn’t nearly enough to cover how much teachers have to spend.”
Teacher spending on classroom supplies has risen steadily over the last few years, Winstead wrote, hitting $750 in 2021.
According to Winstead, “teachers are now spending about 37 percent more on school supplies than they were back in 2015.”
“And this year as the cost of goods rises, our study shows things are only getting worse even with back to school sales going on,” he observed.
According to Winstead, the average teacher can expect to spend:
- $193.55 on non-consumable supplies (this includes books and software)
- $172.23 on classroom decor
- $142.70 on consumable supplies (this includes pencils and paper)
- $121.39 on food and snacks — a critical need in many districts
- $119.74 on prizes
- $70.53 on cleaning supplies
And even as their out-of-pocket spending has risen, teachers aren’t being paid competitive salaries, a factor that’s prompting many to leave the profession ahead of schedule.
“The problem has gotten so bad that many teachers across the country are turning to crowdfunding platforms like GoFundMe to raise money for their classrooms, but even then, some districts are expressing concern and disapproval because they’re unable to track the spending,” Winstead wrote.
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