SAN ANTONIO — Ahead of the new school year, we do a lot of stories on how students and parents prepare to head back to the classroom. That includes stories on spending - new clothes, shoes, and backpacks.
But what about the teachers? How much of their own money are they spending, and what does it mean for their classrooms?
We reached out to about 100 teachers and got 33 responses. Our survey focused on two schools, but all the responses are anonymous.
Our first question netted the most varied responses: How much of your own money have you spent preparing your classroom for the fall 2018 school year?
Responses ranged from $0 to $25, all the way up to more than $500. Five teachers answered $100 to $150, five put $250 to $300, and five spent more than $500.
Our next question, “Do you receive financial assistance to pay for school supplies?”.
79 percent - more than three quarters of teachers - said no. Only 21 percent said yes.
Our third question, “How many students do you estimate use the supplies you provide?”.
75 percent of teachers responded that 20 or more students use the things they're buying.
Finally, we asked, “What is the most needed item in your classroom?”
We split the responses between clothing, writing supplies, art supplies, hygiene and other. 36 percent of our respondents put writing supplies like paper, pens, and pencils. 24 percent selected art supplies, like construction paper markers and crayons. But, 30 percent marked other, with write-in responses including new technology, musical instruments, and classroom décor.
If you would like to help sponsor a school teacher in the San Antonio area, visit DonorChoose.org. There, you can donate money to a local teacher for classroom necessities like pencils and paper, to books, hygiene products and electronics.