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Teachers dig deep into their own pockets to pay for supplies, study finds

The Christian Science Monitor – Maria Danilova

“Every year Anna Graven dips into her modest teacher salary and spends her own money to buy bulletin boards, pencils, paper, highlighters, and tissues for her high school students in Oklahoma City. So do almost all of her colleagues across the nation. Nearly all public school teachers report digging into their pockets to pay for school supplies, spending nearly $480 a year, far more than the federal $250 tax deduction available to teachers, according to a study by the National Center of Education Statistics released Tuesday.” (more)

How to Help Louisiana Educators Seeking Classroom Materials After Severe Weather Damages Schools

Education World – Nicole Gorman

“Back-to-school season can be a stressful time as administrators, teachers, parents and students fall back into the school year routine. For these individuals in Louisiana, this back-to-school season is especially stressful following a bout of severe weather that has left communities throughout the state destroyed by recent floods. Now, not only are the state’s educators in charge of greeting a new crop of students and parents, they are also in charge of finding assistance to help them replace the classroom materials they’ve lost to flooding before school resumes. In order to help educators pick up of the pieces of what was lost to disaster, the Associated Professional Educators of Louisiana has established a relief fund that is counting on the donations of the national community to make it happen.”(more)

12 Ways To Save On Back To School Shopping

Forbes – Janet Berry-Johnson

“The National Retail Federation estimates that American families will spend a total of $75.8 billion on back to school shopping this year. If you are lucky enough to live in a state that offers a sales tax holiday for back to school shopping, saving is a no-brainer! If you’re one of the unlucky ones (like this Arizona resident), you’ll need to get a little more creative to save on back to school shopping.”(more)

Celebrities And Business Leaders Unleash Philanthropic Flashmob, #BestSchoolDay, Funding Classroom Requests On In Communities Spanning 47 States

PR Newswire – Press Release

“Today, more than fifty athletes, actors, founders, and philanthropists announced a surprise “flash funding” of classroom projects posted on in communities across America. Collectively, these individuals committed over $14 million to fund nearly 12,000 projects, including books, art supplies, science equipment, field trips, and more. They are now challenging the public to join them by donating to classroom projects on, making it a #BestSchoolDay for public school teachers and students nationwide. “We all remember special days at school, whether it was going on a field trip, doing a science experiment, or performing in a school play,” said Charles Best, founder and CEO of “Teachers have a hard time providing these experiences when they have to go into their own pockets to buy school supplies. We’re so grateful to the people who have kicked off this philanthropic flashmob, and we hope that everyone–no matter the size of their wallet–will join this act of mass generosity by supporting a classroom project and committing to make every day a #BestSchoolDay.””(more)

Ellen heaps prizes on teacher who pays for class supplies out of her own pocket

The Washington Post – Emma Brown

“American teachers are not particularly well-paid, but that doesn’t stop them from digging into their own pockets to buy supplies for their students. Most professionals don’t have to pay out-of-pocket for essential work tools. But paying for essential school supplies is such a fixture of a teacher’s job that it’s recognized in the federal tax code: Teachers can deduct up to $250 for unreimbursed purchases of books, computers and other classroom essentials. The deduction hardly means that teachers recoup their costs: The average U.S. teacher spends about $500 of their own money to outfit their classrooms each year, and one in 10 teachers says he or she spends more than $1,000 each year…Lots of times, teachers do this quietly, without fanfare or thanks. But earlier this month talk show host Ellen DeGeneres highlighted the hidden sacrifices of the nation’s teachers with a surprise for Meghan Bentley, a Virginia second-grade teacher.”(more)

House Republicans want to give teachers a break

The Washington Post – Lyndsey Layton

“Teachers who spend their own money on classroom supplies — most of the nation’s nearly 4 million K-12 teachers — would be eligible for a permanent tax credit of up to $250 annually for unreimbursed expenses, under a bill passed by the House Ways and Means committee on Thursday…Teachers had already been eligible for a $250 tax credit but that provision had expired in January and had not been indexed for inflation. “This tax deduction is timely, permanent, and will go a long way toward making sure educators continue to provide what students need to succeed,” said Lily Eskelsen García, president of the National Education Association…”(more)