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Out-of-Pocket Cost of Supplies Part to Blame for Teacher Shortages?

Out-of-Pocket Cost of Supplies Part to Blame for Teacher Shortages?

Last week, a national survey revealed that teachers spend about $500 of their own money annually in order to pay for school supplies not provided by the school. Could this be part of the reason why this year will see some of the highest teacher shortages to date?

According to Fox28, in Indiana, "[t]he number of applications for first-time teaching licenses in Indiana is down 20 percent compared to just five years ago." Part of the reason to blame, it says, is school funding cuts forcing teachers to pay for their own supplies.

Fox28 talked to McKenzey Zollinger, a woman who just accepted her first paid teaching position. Marring the excitement of her first paid position in her field, Zollinger must deal with being able to afford the expense of buying her classroom supplies.

"She won't get her first pay check until her second week teaching. She says her school hasn't given her money to pay for supplies and she's not sure they have the budget to reimburse her. She wants binders for her students and note cards they can use to memorize rhythms," according to the article.

Binders alone for 30 students can cost over a hundred dollars, a hefty out-of-pocket price for a necessary supply.

In Detroit, M.I., one area is dealing with the influx of teachers providing their own supplies by establishing pop-up teacher supply stores. The mobile shops are specifically designed to provide teachers with the supplies they need for the deals they want.

"The pop-up stores will have supplies for preschool through high school classes, including nameplates, EZ graders, games, lesson plan books and record books, some of which Korte claims people can’t get from big-box stores. Learning Gizmos also is offering a free gift for the first 25 customers in line. They’re also giving away a free teacher desk calendar with a minimum purchase," said The Livingston Daily.

Certainly, the same survey that found teachers spend an average of $500 on yearly supplies also found that over 80% of teachers go specifically to places where they know carry deals for teachers. 

Read the full article here and comment with your thoughts below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

07/27/2015 

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