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How Much Do Teachers Spend Out of Pocket?

Survey Shows Teachers Are Spending Their Own Money on Their Classrooms  

Morris, IL – August 5, 2016 – It’s no secret that America’s educational system faces challenges, with dwindling budgets at the top of the list. As a result, teachers are consistently asked to do more with less. Grantmamas, Inc.™ wanted to understand how much teachers are spending, what they’re buying, and why.

A survey conducted by Grantmamas, a provider of online grant writing training, shed light on how much money teachers are spending in their classrooms, how they feel about the lack of funding in schools, and their opinions about alternative funding options.

Grantmamas collected data from more than 1,000 teachers. Respondents submitted answers to a series of multiple-choice questions for a chance to win a gift certificate to buy supplies for their classroom and Grantmamas’ School Grants Made Easy training program. Survey questions focused on teachers’ spending habits – how much money they spend on supplies for their classroom, what they buy, and if they have obtained outside funding for their classroom. Respondents were also asked about alternative funding options – where they’ve received additional funding from, if they have written grants for their classroom, if they would be open to parents assisting with funding options, and more.

Key Findings:

  • 91% feel classroom budgets for learning activities, supplies and materials, technology, and field trips are not adequate.
  • 98% spend their own money on supplies and materials for their classroom.
  • 58% spend $251-$650 per year on supplies, with 17% spending more than $650.
  • 91% have bought general classroom supplies for children whose families aren’t able to purchase them.
  • 43% have received funding from a grant or fundraising effort.
  • 41% have written grant proposals for their classroom or school. Of those, 71% were funded.
  • 98% would be willing to work with parents trained to write grant proposals to bring money and resources into their classroom.

“We understand more and more school districts face funding challenges. Inadequate budgets result in teachers spending their own money on supplies and materials they need for their classrooms,” explains Dr. Toni Rockis, Co-founder and CEO of Grantmamas. “At Grantmamas we believe that developing more sustainable, systemic approaches to raising much-needed money for education is one answer to funding challenges. So we polled teachers, not only to get some hard data on their spending, but also to explore their willingness to learn more about grant writing and partnering with parents to build these sustainable programs.”

Please review our infographic detailing additional survey results.

Grantmamas, Inc.™ will release an online grant writing training program, School Grants Made Easy, in October. This training includes eight video modules with resource sheets, worksheets, and templates that give tips, step-by-step techniques, and examples for writing successful foundation proposals.

About Grantmamas:

Grantmamas, Inc.™ was founded in 2013 to provide mothers, educators, and community members with training and expertise to prepare award-winning grant proposals. Through online video training and an active online community, Grantmamas’ members learn to write foundation proposals that can bring money and other resources into classrooms and schools.


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