Results Of Teacher Out-Of-Pocket Expenditures Survey Released

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Professional Educators of Tennessee (PET) released the survey results on teacher out-of-pocket expenditures.  The survey consisted of 954 Tennessee teachers who reported they spent their own money to support classroom activities. The survey was conducted March 12 to April 1.  

There is a critical educational expense that is often not often considered: teachers who spend their own money to support classroom activities.  Many teachers routinely spend money out of their own pockets on necessity items for their students, according to most research.   By conducting this timely survey, Professional Educators of Tennessee hopes to assist and help educate stakeholders and policymakers in understanding that many teachers voluntarily use their own money to support their classroom work, and gain a better understanding into how much is typically expended in the effort.

Public education now costs federal, state and local governments more than $500 billion annually. This total is up from $354 billion 15 years ago and remains the largest state and local government expenditure. Traditionally, public schools in America were funded largely by local property taxes. However, local revenues have not always kept up with the needs of the schools and have actually decreased in many states. To offset this change, state government adapted a larger and expanded role in education.  State funding is the critical funding element for most local school districts currently in Tennessee and the nation.

Officials said, "Yet there is another type of education spending that may seem small by comparison but is no less significant to the spender: Many teachers voluntarily use their own money to support their classroom work. When we found little in the literature on this subject, we decided to conduct a small informal survey to investigate the situation. Assuming that our survey sample (954) is representative, we estimate 61.4% of teachers across Tennessee are spending more than $250 out-of-pocket annually for their classrooms.

PET invited public school teachers across Tennessee to reply, both members and non-members. It emailed the survey to members and several Tennessee newspapers posted the survey online from March 12 to April 1. It did not attempt to identify geographic location. There were 954 respondents. 

What They Spent

Amount

Teachers

Percentage

$

#

%

<$100

81

8.5%

$100-$250

288

30.2%

$251-$500

343

36.0%

$501-$750

144

15.1%

$751-$1000

44

4.6%

>$1000

54

5.7%


For additional information on this survey, additional graphics or pie charts and/or breakdown by grade groups, please email Bethany Bowman at bethany.bowman@proedtn.org or call 615 778-0803. 


East Hamilton Cadets Graduate From Recruit Training

Three cadets from the Hurricane Division out of East Hamilton Middle/High School graduated from Recruit Training (boot camp) at Naval Air Station Pensacola, FL on July 26.   These cadets endured 14 days of strict military instruction in the areas of classroom training, marching, physical training twice a day, weapon instruction, uniform and barracks' inspections, and military ... (click for more)

Dalton State Protects, Breeds Endangered Turtles

Dalton State couple has a new  couple, a male and female spiny turtle – known as the Heosemys spinosa in scientific communities - which is an endangered species. They live in the Dalton State College Turtle Assurance Colony. The colony is part of the international Turtle Survival Alliance, which is a conservation group formed in response to the disappearance of turtles ... (click for more)

Harr Outlines $40 Million Plan For Chattanooga Light Rail System

Outgoing Chamber of Commerce President Ron Harr on Monday outlined a $40 million plan for a Chattanooga light rail system that would serve not only downtown, but also the Airport and the Enterprise South Industrial Park. In a speech to the Chattanooga Engineers Club, Mr. Harr said most cities looking at such an ambitious plan "would be facing costs of over a billion dollars." ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Choo Choo Adding Clubs, Restaurants In $7 Million Renovation

The historic Chattanooga Choo Choo is adding clubs and restaurants in a $7 million renovation, it was announced in front of the South Market Street landmark on Monday morning. The Comedy Catch will be moving from its longtime home in Brainerd and there will be a new 500-person music venue that will be in addition to Track 29. The new venue, managed by Track 29, will feature a ... (click for more)

Senator Bob Corker: An Open Letter To Tennesseans

We are incredibly fortunate to live in a state in which companies worldwide are clamoring to establish a presence. Many attribute it to our pro-business culture, well-prepared workforce, low tax environment, right-to-work policies, and engaged citizenry.  That is why the announcement by Volkswagen to build its midsize sports utility vehicle and establish the South’s ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Our’ American Minute

William J. Federer is one of the leading historians in the United States and every morning I am among thousands of people who get an entertaining email from him called the “American Minute.” I adore it because Bill takes a significant event in American history that happened long ago – but he remembers on the very anniversary of when it occurred. A great example is that last Thursday ... (click for more)