Results Of Teacher Out-Of-Pocket Expenditures Survey Released

Tuesday, April 2, 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. 


Santillana Nominated For Latino Leadership Award

Juan Santillana, assistant professor of Spanish at Chattanooga State Community College, was recently nominated for the 2016 Latino Leadership Awards, a LaPaz initiative. As one of 10 nominees, the selection committee reviews all nominations and then has the difficult task of choosing “what true leaders in the Latino and Hispanic community look like.” All 10 nominees will be recognized ... (click for more)

Lee University’s Boone Releases Book

Dr. Jerome Boone, professor of Old Testament and Christian formation at Lee, has co-authored with his wife, Sandra Boone, a book released at the end of July titled “Thanksgiving Psalms: A Path to Praise.”  The book was released by the Department of Adult Discipleship in the Church of God and is written as an inductive Bible study on the thanksgiving psalms. According to ... (click for more)

City Councilman Larry Grohn To Run For Mayor Of Chattanooga

City Councilman Larry Grohn said Tuesday he plans to make a race for mayor of Chattanooga. Mr. Grohn, who will be giving up his District 7 seat on the council, said he has been "extremely frustrated" with the administration of Mayor Andy Berke. It is not yet known whether Mayor Berke, the former state senator, will seek a second term. City Councilman Ken Smith from District ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Short Term Vacation Rental Operators Praise System; Freeman Says Council Has To Get Some Rogue Operators Under Control

A host of Chattanooga residents who make extra income and meet new friends by renting out their homes told City Council members on Tuesday that short term vacation rentals are part of the new way of living. Commission Chairman Moses Freeman said those who came to the public hearing do it right, but he said a new ordinance is necessary because some who are not responsible "cause ... (click for more)

Proud To Be A Conservative Conservationist

I was born and raised in Chattanooga and was brought up to be a Tennessee conservative. That means that my family conserved our spending, our resources, and yes, even our environment.  I think we were inspired to do so because Tennessee is one of the most beautiful places in the entire United States. We have stunning mountains, wild rivers and quiet backcountry. And many of ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: How Tenure Destroys Kids

When the California Supreme Court announced last week that it would not hear a landmark case (Vergara v. California) you didn’t hear much about it, but when Hamilton County employs almost 30 percent of teachers that are deemed to be “the least effective” by any measure, it’s time for somebody outside our classrooms to start paying very close attention. I was amazed that last ... (click for more)