Teachers Paying More for Supplies Out-of-Pocket

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As kids across the country head back to school this fall, a growing number of teachers are having to buy classroom supplies with their own money.

This comes as school budgets across the country are slashed.

"I only have $100 from the school for the whole year to buy supplies, and it's not enough," 23-year-old Hannah Martin, a Salem elementary school teacher in Apex, N.C., said.

Martin said the only way her students are going to get the necessary supplies is if she buys them out of her own salary.

"I even had to buy shelves and a stool for the kids to stand on to wash their hands at the sink. I spent about $500 on supplies last year, and it definitely hurts my own pocketbook," she continued.

According to a recent survey by insurance firm Horace Mann, 26 percent of the teachers who participated say they spent $400 of their own money on school last year.

"I was out about $500 last year and $600 the previous year buying supplies," Mallori Lucas, a reading and language arts teacher at Union Township Middle School in Valparaiso, Ind., said. Lucas makes $55,000 a year.

"It has gotten worse for us ... especially since we haven't received a raise in seven years," she explained.

General items like paper and pens are at the top of the list of materials not covered sufficiently under school budgets, followed closely by math and science tools and reading material.


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