Survey: Teachers Spend $500 a Year of Their Own Money on Classroom Supplies

Teacher verification provider SheerID and Agile Education Marketing today released the results of an annual survey in which they ask K-12 teachers about their spending habits. For the second year in a row, the average amount of their own money that teachers reported on their classrooms was about $500.

The survey of 536 K-12 teachers found that 71 percent of respondents spent $200 or more out of pocket on school supplies, instructional materials and professional development for the 2014–2015 school year. The majority spent more out of their own bank accounts for classroom supplies than they got from either their school or their school district.

The survey also found that when teachers shop for items for their classrooms and personal use, 89 percent of them will go out of their way to shop at stores that offer teacher discounts; 94 percent said they are more likely to shop at stores that offer teacher discounts.

Previous research by Agile Education Marketing showed that teachers also shop online twice as often as the average American adult. At the same time, they are not comfortable sharing sensitive data. This year’s survey revealed that 96 percent of teachers will not disclose their Social Security numbers to get a discount; 71 percent said they are not even willing to give out the last four digits of their Social Security number, even if it means saving money.

About the Author

Christopher Piehler is the former editor-in-chief of THE Journal.