Advance Notice: Briefs

Study: Michigan teachers spend $628 of their own money on school supplies

By: - August 30, 2019 10:14 am
class school

Dave Einsel/Getty Images

Michigan teachers spend more out-of-pocket on school supplies than their counterparts in any other state, except for California.

Data analyzed by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), a liberal Washington, D.C. think tank, show Michigan teachers shell out an average of $628 of their own money on classroom supplies every year. That’s almost $200 more than the national average of $459.

In California, teachers spend $664 per year. Looking at educator spending in other Great Lakes states, Ohio is $444, Indiana is $462, Wisconsin is $380 and Illinois is $439.

EPI said that state-by-state spending differences “are likely due to a combination of factors, including students’ needs, how schools are funded in the state [and] the cost of living in the state.”

More than nine out of 10 teachers nationwide will not be reimbursed for what they spend on supplies over the school year, according to survey data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

Teachers in high-poverty schools are spending more of their own money on school supplies than their counterparts in low-poverty schools, according to EPI data.

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Susan J. Demas

Susan J. Demas is a 21-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 4,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 70 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.