As their children head back to school, many parents send along with them supplies for their teachers, including Kleenex tissues, paper towels, hand sanitizer and maybe even some pencils or art supplies. But what about the many other things teachers opt to provide for their students without reimbursement?
The recent rise of sites like DonorsChoose, a fundraising platform for educators, and Teachers Pay Teachers, a site that allows them to buy and sell educational resources, underscore that many educators are left to fully supply their classrooms on their own. Indeed, the U.S. Department of Education released survey findings in May that showed 94 percent of public school teachers paid for classroom supplies without reimbursement during the 2014-2015 school year. Among those teachers, the average amount spent was $479.
Some educators publicly share links to their Amazon wish lists filled with suggestions for supplies, and recently, a report from Airbnb showed nearly one in 10 hosts on the lodging site in the U.S. are teachers, many of whom are trying to make ends meet. During the past year, many teachers have participated in walkouts across the country as they seek higher wages and improved funding for their classrooms.