NSTA Member Poll: Teachers Paying Out of Pocket for Many Science Supplies

This sounds all-too-familiar.  I didn’t always keep track of my out-of-pocket expenses for my classroom, but I know I spent at least as much as some of the teachers quoted in this NSTA Reports story:

Nearly all science educators expect to pay for some classroom supplies out of their own pockets this school year, according to a recent online survey of NSTA members. With 67% reporting their typical school budget for classroom supplies as less than $500, many said they would be buying office supplies, “grocery items,” and other consumables to equip their labs and their students. Several respondents listed specific items—including acetone, batteries, onions, strawberries, and vinegar. Twenty-six reported they would be buying notebooks and glue, 63 include pencils on their shopping lists, and 80 said they’ll purchase paper in various forms, from graph to construction to notebook. One educator who teaches at the middle and high school levels summed it up briefly: “I buy a lot of perishables and household items.”

With Dallas ISD shuttering both its Living Materials and Science Resource Centers this year due to budget cuts, I expect Dallas teachers will now be hit even harder.  Share your experiences with us in the Comments section!


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