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

























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

Lee University Food Bank Receives Grant From Food Lion

Food Lion awarded a $5,000 grant to Lee University’s Food Bank.  A group of representatives from Food Lion and the Chattanooga Area Food Bank visited the university to volunteer on campus for the day.  As part of its “Feed Great Pantry Makeover” initiative, Food Lion contacted the Chattanooga Area Food Bank for recommendations for the grant. After being considered with ... (click for more)

Belvoir Christian Academy Holds Fall Festival

Belvoir Christian Academy held its Fall Festival to help raise funds for its Parent-Teacher League. The event has been an annual tradition in the community for over 60 years and helps the parent group purchase "Teacher Wish List" items for classrooms as well as update technology within the school.  The event included a variety of games and crafts as well as vendors, ... (click for more)

Attorney Patrick Says Chattanooga Is "Most Logical Place" For Consolidating Volkswagen Lawsuits; Hearing Set Dec. 3

Attorney Gary Patrick said Chattanooga is "the most logical place for consolidating the Volkswagen litigation because it is the only location in the country where VW vehicles are being produced." Attorney Patrick, of the local firm of Patrick, Beard, Schulman and Jacoway, said a hearing is set Dec. 3 in New Orleans on the issue. A host of lawsuits seeking class action status ... (click for more)

Woman Stabbed To Death On Hooker Road; Man Injured; Suspect Being Interviewed

A young woman was stabbed to death on Hooker Road early Friday morning and a man was injured. At approximately 1:54 a.m., Chattanooga Police responded to a stabbing at the 4000 block of Hooker Road. There police located Angel Evans, 33, deceased. She was stabbed multiple times. A second person, Gerald Nelson, 24, was transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening ... (click for more)

The Facts About Jail

Since Roy had such a positive reaction to Jeffrey Cross's wonderful (and wonderfully civil--how refreshing) email response to his column on the bike lanes, allow me to speak on the subject of the jail.  First off, Roy's right about some things:  It is overcrowded, underfunded, and understaffed.  This is no secret, it's in the Grand Jury report every term.  Here's ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: We Must Learn To Tell

On July 4th of this year, FBI agents – acting on a tip -- arrested Alexander Ciccolo, a 23-year-old with known mental problems, as he carried a duffle bag full of automatic attack weapons. Moments before, he had bought the illegal firearms from an undercover informant outside of Boston. As agents later scoured his apartment, they found bomb-making equipment including a pressure ... (click for more)