Texas A&M University-Commerce pointed to its own 2018 statewide survey of teachers and administrators to show that significant amounts of personal funds are being spent on classroom supplies each year. According to the survey, 98 percent of teachers and principals spent personal money on classroom instructional materials in the 2017-2018 school year and anticipate spending similar amounts during the upcoming year.
“This survey confirmed what we already knew – that teachers invest in their students by sharing their time and talent, but also give from their personal funds,” said the survey’s architect, Mark Reid, Ph.D., Associate Dean of the College of Education and Human Services at Texas A&M University-Commerce. “First year teachers, veteran teachers with more than 15 years of experience (and those in between), routinely pay out hundreds of dollars to buy instructional supplies each year.”
Texas A&M University-Commerce completed the survey to better understand the experience of new teachers entering the profession, particularly the graduates of its teacher certification programs. Results from the survey mirror other similar surveys from across the country, and include data points such as:
- Ninety-eight percent of the 200 teachers who responded to the survey spent personal money on classroom instructional materials.
- Nearly 90 percent of the teachers spent more than $150 of their personal money on instructional supplies.
- Almost 25 percent of the teachers paid out a minimum of $500 of their own money on classroom materials.
- More than 76 percent of the 38 principals who responded used personal funds to support instruction.
A result of the survey data drove Texas A&M University-Commerce in action. Alumni from the university – including retired teachers – along with current faculty and administrators – are teaming up to make “Back to School 2018” memorable.
More than 400 MISD teachers, and dozens of district administrators, are alumni of A&M-Commerce, and the university has plans to help them get the school year off to a resounding start. Each alumni educator will receive a backpack of school supplies at a reception at 4 p.m. on August 9, 2018. Texas A&M University-Commerce will also contribute school supplies for each of the more than 450 new MISD teachers to help them get their first year off to a solid start.
“You would be hard-pressed to find a public school in North Texas where A&M-Commerce graduates aren’t serving today,” said Tim Letzring, Ed.D Dean of the College of Education. “This time of year is special for us because it serves as a reminder of the importance of the work we do in preparing future teachers and administrators.”