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Why do Teachers Spend their Own Money on Classroom Supplies and Materials?

Grantmamas collected data from more than 1,000 teachers to 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.As summer draws to a close, teachers are thinking about the supplies they need for their classrooms. Unfortunately for many teachers that means digging into their own pockets.

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.

Our team at Grantmamas wanted to understand more about how much teachers spend on classroom supplies. So we surveyed more than 1,000 teachers from grades K-16, public to private to charter to magnet, to shed some 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.

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 our Grantmamas’ School Grants Made Easy online grant writing training program. Survey questions focused on teachers’ spending habits – how much money they spend on supplies for their classroom, what they buy, and whether or not they have obtained additional funding to purchase materials for their classrooms.

However, our team at Grantmamas also believes that developing more sustainable, systemic approaches to raising much-needed money for education is an answer to funding shortages. So we asked respondents about additional funding options – where they’ve received additional funding from, if they’ve written grants for their classroom, if they’d be open to parents assisting with writing grant proposals, and more.

See our infographic for highlights from survey results.

We know that strong partnerships among administrators, teachers, parents, extended family, and community members are a great way to build sustainable programs. Our hope is to use the data from our survey to begin a conversation about exploring funding options, like grant writing.

If you’d like more information about our School Grants Made Easy training program, starting in October, please email us at info@grantmamas.com. Our goal is to train educators and parents to write award-winning foundation grant proposals. Together, we can provide our children with resources and educational experiences to help them succeed in school and in life.

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