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96 Percent of Teachers Personally Pay for Supplies for Students

Last year, we saw the largest increase in labor strikes in the past three decades in the US, with nearly half a million workers involved in major work stoppages. The wave of unrest came mostly from teachers, with more than 370,000 teachers going on strike in just six states. 

Teacher Pay, Class Sizes, Paying Out-Of-Pocket for Supplies

The top reason for teachers going on strike is low pay. For nearly two decades, teacher salaries in most states have decreased when adjusted for inflation. 

Another major reason is the unmanageable class sizes. While the national average is 26 to 28 students in a class, many Los Angeles classes have 37 to 46. This was one of the major reasons that led to more than 30,000 teachers in Los Angeles alone to go on strike in January.

One LA Unified School District middle school teacher told NPR, “For me, that’s the No. 1 reason I’m out here, because it’s not fair to have so many kids in a class.”

Another major issue affecting teachers is having to spend their own money for school supplies for their students and classrooms. All three of these topics are often discussed by teachers using our app, Fishbowl. As one California teacher posted on Fishbowl, “I finally tallied up how much I spent on my students this past year…Over $2,300! Is this normal? This isn’t sustainable but I also can’t just do nothing when my kids can’t even afford a coat.”

Fishbowl Teacher Survey

Teachers use the Fishbowl app to discuss these and other issues affecting their workplace and classroom. So, we asked teachers (K-12) on Fishbowl to respond with ‘True’ or ‘False’ to this statement: As a teacher, I have had to personally pay for supplies or food for my students. Here are the results:

  • A total of 1,038 teachers responded.
  • 96.1% answered with ‘True.’
  • The survey ran from July 6 through July 10, 2019.
    teachers pay out of pocket for school supplies

So, what do you think about the survey results? Let us know on Twitter @Fishbowlapp.

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