Teacher, Can You Spare a Dime?

Teachers' salaries have never been anything for our society to brag about, but the financial sacrifices are bigger than many suspect. According to a study provided to TIME by the research firm Quality Education Data, a division of Scholastic, U.S. elementary school teachers spend more than $1 billion a year of their own money on supplies for their classrooms. The average teacher's personal contribution is a surprising $521 annually, 35% more than what the school provides them with to buy such things as paperbacks, software, instructional posters and art supplies. Teachers, with an average salary of $42,000, say what they need...

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