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Teachers spend $1.6 billion of their own money on back-to-school supplies

Some things never change: Teachers buying supplies

How much do you spend on your students and classroom?

This year, educators are spending between $500 and $1,500 for their students and their classroom.

A study by the Education Market Association found that virtually all, 99.5 percent of teachers, spend their own money on instructional materials and classroom supplies for their students, including notebooks, pens, pencils, crayons, and other necessities. In total, public school teachers across the country spend an estimated $1.6 billion a year.

If parents are financially unable to provide the necessities or if students forget or lose their supplies, then teachers fill the gaps. The spending can be particularly heavy for teachers at lower-income schools, where students often show up for school without the most basic supplies, such as pens and paper.

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