SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Western Massachusetts students will soon go back to school, but you might be surprised how much of their school supplies their teachers may be paying for. A new study revealed America’s public school teachers spent $1.6 million on school supplies out of their own pockets last year.
Former college teacher Betty Krusiewicz of Springfield told 22News that the Education Market Associations teacher’s classroom spending report shows there’s something wrong when teachers have to supplement what school budget should already cover.
“I think it’s totally ridiculous,” says Krusiewicz. “I’d tell them they were crazy to spend their own money, I wouldn’t do it. I’d be sending requests to to the superintendent of schools, I’d be signing petitions that we need school supplies.”
Agawam school superintendent William Sapelli told 22News the school budget provides adequately for enough classroom supplies. But he claims many teachers want to go above and beyond. He said that’s the way it was when he was teaching.
“Organize things in the classroom with regard to getting plastic bins to organize homework and out boxes, what a lot of teachers will do today is have their own personal libraries,” says Sapelli.
So many teachers now purchase school supplies out of their own pockets, some stores now have school supply sales appealing directly to educators. Springfield parent Heather Mulrooney said that struggling families can benefit from teachers buying school supplies.
“There are some families that can’t afford it. And If they can’t afford it, and the teacher didn’t do it. the kids going to go without,” says Mulrooney.
Only during the last ten years teachers have taken on the burden of so much spending in their classrooms.