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Majority of public school teachers in the United States shell out their own money to purchase school supplies, according to a recent survey.
The survey, which was conducted by the US Federal Department of Education, revealed that 94% of public school teachers spent an average of nearly $480 on school supplies like notebooks and pens for the school year 2014-2015. The said amount was never reimbursed.
Findings further revealed that this situation applied to teachers who taught in either urban or rural public schools. They also spent on school supplies regardless of their students’ socio-economic status.
Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, stated that the survey findings clearly implied that there is insufficient funding in the country’s public schools.
Because of this, teachers in different states held protests to express their disappointment and to demand a higher wage. Weingarten asserted that teachers are very passionate in helping their students, which is why they will go out of their way to fight against underfunding.
Aside from spending their own money, some teachers have tried exploring different means to continuously accommodate their students’ needs.
Bruce Hogue, a teacher from Denver, solicits from private donors to fund the supplies for his students’ science experiments. Hogue successfully gained financial support from NASA, the US Geological Society, and private businesses like Lockheed-Martin.
On the other hand, New York-based preschool teacher Andy Yung tried raising money for his classroom projects through DonorsChoose.org. This website lets teachers list down different classroom needs and ask for funding for students’ trip fees, projects, and supplies.