20 states where the most number of teachers spend their own money on school supplies

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It’s no secret public schools around the US have recently struggled with budget cuts and insufficient funding from state governments. Real world manifestations of this abound. Budget cuts around the country have led to classrooms with pencil and paper shortages, broken plastic chairs, and students sitting on the floor because there aren’t enough desks.In some classrooms, students are forced to share books or computers, and teachers are given paltry budgets to buy supplies for their classrooms.

Many are having to dig deep into their own bank accounts to pay for supplies.

It’s not just a few cases resigned to the extreme fringes either. According to a government survey released by the Department of Education earlier this year, 94% of public school teachers reportedly paid for classroom supplies without reimbursement between 2014 and 2015. On average, these teachers reported spending $US479 of their own money, and seven per cent of them reportedly spent more than $US1,000. These teachers have had to pay for everything from basic pencils and art material to carpeting and even food for their students. In some cases, teachers have even turned to crowdsourcing services like GoFundMe to make up the difference.

With a national average annual salary of just over $US58,000 (some states like Montana and Missouri have starting salaries less than $US32,000) these regular out of pocket payments can cause real financial burdens.

To find out just how many teachers had to use their own money for school supplies, INSIDER analysed IRS data on the recipients of a tax program called the Educator Expense Deduction, eligible to any educator who spends their own money on books, supplies, computer software, or other class materials. Educators can qualify for up to $US250 in relief, but it’s still a far cry from breaking even for those teachers who spent over $US1,000.

INSIDER compared the number of federal filers who took the deduction and to the number of primary, middle and high school teachers in each state, according to the Bureau of Labour Statistics. This isn’t an exact ratio, since other education workers and administrators are eligible, but it’s a good estimate. It will also inexact because some teachers may not know about or not apply for the deduction.

Continue scrolling below to see the top 20 states where teachers spend the most out of pocket.


20: Maine spent $US2.49 billion on education and has 24,220 teachers, with 17,860 taking the tax credit for out of pocket for school supplies.

Percentage of teachers who claimed an educator expense deduction in 2016:74%

Average public school teacher salary: $US51,077

Total amount state spent on school supplies including pens, pencils, notebooks, and other materials for classroom study: $US36,233,000

Student to teacher ratio: 12.2

Sources:Governing.com,Internal Revenue Service,National Center for Education Statistics


19: Massachusetts spent $US15.46 billion on education and 137,900 teachers, with 102,130 taking the tax credit for out of pocket for school supplies.

Percentage of teachers who claimed an educator expense deduction in 2016:74%

Average public school teacher salary: $US77,804

Total amount state spent on school supplies including pens, pencils, notebooks, and other materials for classroom study:$US277,803,000

Student to teacher teacher ratio: 13.3

Sources: Governing.com,Internal Revenue Service,National Center for Education Statistics


18: Nevada spent $US3.97 billion on education and 35,130 teachers, with 26,000 taking the tax credit for out of pocket for school supplies.

Ted S. Warren/AP

Percentage of teachers who claimed an educator expense deduction in 2016:74%

Average public school teacher salary: $US57,376

Total amount state spent on school supplies including pens, pencils, notebooks, and other materials for classroom study:$US140,144,000

Student to teacher ratio: 21.2

Sources: Governing.com,Internal Revenue Service,National Center for Education Statistics


17: Alabama spent $US6.9 billion on education and 67,700 teachers, with 50,350 taking the tax credit for out of pocket for school supplies.

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Percentage of teachers who claimed an educator expense deduction in 2016:74%

Average public school teacher salary: $US48,868

Total amount state spent on school supplies including pens, pencils, notebooks, and other materials for classroom study:$US285,000,000

Student to teacher ratio: 17.4

Sources: Governing.com,Internal Revenue Service,National Center for Education Statistics


16: Maryland spent $US12.52 billion on education and 108,190 teachers, with 80,580 taking the tax credit for out of pocket for school supplies.

Darren Hauck/Getty Images

Percentage of teachers who claimed an educator expense deduction in 2016: 74%

Average public school teacher salary: $US66,961

Total amount state spent on school supplies including pens, pencils, notebooks, and other materials for classroom study:$US187,431,000

Student to teacher ratio: 14.8

Sources: Governing.com,Internal Revenue Service,National Center for Education Statistics


15: Mississippi spent $US4.25 billion on education and 48,560 teachers, with 36,630 taking the tax credit for out of pocket for school supplies.

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Percentage of teachers who claimed an educator expense deduction in 2016:75%

Average public school teacher salary: $US42,925

Total amount state spent on school supplies including pens, pencils, notebooks, and other materials for classroom study:$US102,866,000

Student to teacher ratio: 15.2

Sources: Governing.com,Internal Revenue Service,National Center for Education Statistics


14: New York spent $US61.4 billion on education and 383,370 teachers, with 291,390 taking the tax credit for out of pocket for school supplies.

Reuters

Percentage of teachers who claimed an educator expense deduction in 2016:76%

Average public school teacher salary: $US79,637

Total amount state spent on school supplies including pens, pencils, notebooks, and other materials for classroom study:$US729,050,000

Student to teacher ratio: 13.5

Sources: Governing.com,Internal Revenue Service,National Center for Education Statistics


13: Kentucky spent $US6.83 billion on public education and 59,040 teachers, with 45,460 taking the tax credit for out of pocket for school supplies.

Reuters

Percentage of teachers who claimed an educator expense deduction in 2016:77%

Average public school teacher salary: $US52,339

Total amount state spent on school supplies including pens, pencils, notebooks, and other materials for classroom study:$US130,899,000

Student to teacher ratio: 16.6

Sources: Governing.com,Internal Revenue Service,National Center for Education Statistics


12: New Mexico spent $US3.1 billion on education and 32,520 teachers, with 25,420 taking the tax credit for out of pocket for school supplies.

Percentage of teachers who claimed an educator expense deduction in 2016:78%

Average public school teacher salary: $US47,500

Total amount state spent on school supplies including pens, pencils, notebooks, and other materials for classroom study:$US105,846,000

Student to teacher ratio: 15.2

Sources: Governing.com,Internal Revenue Service,National Center for Education Statistics


11: Pennsylvania spent $US26.26 billion on education and 201,930 teachers, with 158,960 taking the tax credit for out of pocket for school supplies.

Percentage of teachers who claimed an educator expense deduction in 2016:79%

Average public school teacher salary: $US65,863

Total amount state spent on school supplies including pens, pencils, notebooks, and other materials for classroom study:$US474,936,000

Student to teacher ratio: 14.3

Sources: Governing.com,Internal Revenue Service,National Center for Education Statistics


10: Georgia spent $US17.12 billion on education and 159,060 teachers, with 127,420 taking the tax credit for out of pocket for school supplies.

Reuters

Percentage of teachers who claimed an educator expense deduction in 2016:80%

Average public school teacher salary: $US54,602

Total amount state spent on school supplies including pens, pencils, notebooks, and other materials for classroom study:$US625,381,000

Student to teacher ratio: 15.6

Sources: Governing.com,Internal Revenue Service,National Center for Education Statistics


9: New Jersey spent $US26.76 billion on education and 184,600 teachers, with 151,130 taking the tax credit for out of pocket for school supplies.

Reuters

Percentage of teachers who claimed an educator expense deduction in 2016: 82%

Average public school teacher salary: $US69,623

Total amount state spent on school supplies including pens, pencils, notebooks, and other materials for classroom study:$US455,518,000

Student to teacher ratio: 12.2

Sources:Governing.com,Internal Revenue Service,National Center for Education Statistics


8: Arizona spent $US7.28 billion on education and 82,850 teachers, with 69,540 taking the tax credit for out of pocket for school supplies.

Reuters

Percentage of teachers who claimed an educator expense deduction in 2016:84%

Average public school teacher salary: $US47,403

Total amount state spent on school supplies including pens, pencils, notebooks, and other materials for classroom study:$US194,855,000

Student to teacher ratio: 23.1

Sources: Governing.com,Internal Revenue Service,National Center for Education Statistics


7: Florida spent $US25.34 billion on education and 247,270 teachers, with 207,920 taking the tax credit for out of pocket for school supplies.

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Percentage of teachers who claimed an educator expense deduction in 2016:84%

Average public school teacher salary: $US49,407

Total amount state spent on school supplies including pens, pencils, notebooks, and other materials for classroom study:$US487,810,000

Student to teacher ratio: 15.3

Sources: Governing.com,Internal Revenue Service,National Center for Education Statistics


6: New Hampshire spent $US2.78 billion on education and 25,070 teachers, with 21,230 taking the tax credit for out of pocket for school supplies.

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Percentage of teachers who claimed an educator expense deduction in 2016:85%

Average public school teacher salary: $US57,253

Total amount state spent on school supplies including pens, pencils, notebooks, and other materials for classroom study:$US35,651,000

Student to teacher ratio: 12.5

Sources:Governing.com,Internal Revenue Service,National Center for Education Statistics


5: Delaware spent $US1.85 billion on education and 14,320 teachers, with 12,230 taking the tax credit for out of pocket for school supplies.

Shutterstock

Percentage of teachers who claimed an educator expense deduction in 2016:85%

Average public school teacher salary: $US60,214

Total amount state spent on school supplies including pens, pencils, notebooks, and other materials for classroom study:$US55,002,000

Student to teacher ratio: 13.9

Sources: Governing.com,Internal Revenue Service,National Center for Education Statistics


4: Connecticut spent $US9.79 billion on education and 68,690 teachers, with 58,940 taking the tax credit for out of pocket for school supplies.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Percentage of teachers who claimed an educator expense deduction in 2016:86%

Average public school teacher salary: $US72,561

Total amount state spent on school supplies including pens, pencils, notebooks, and other materials for classroom study:$US112,589,000

Student to teacher ratio: 12.9

Sources:Governing.com,Internal Revenue Service,National Center for Education Statistics


3: Louisiana spent $US7.31 billion on education and 66,720 teachers, with 58,820 taking the tax credit for out of pocket for school supplies.

Danny Johnston/AP

Percentage of teachers who claimed an educator expense deduction in 2016:88%

Average public school teacher salary: $US50,000

Total amount state spent on school supplies including pens, pencils, notebooks, and other materials for classroom study:$US206,561,000

Student to teacher ratio: 15.5

Sources: Governing.com,Internal Revenue Service,National Center for Education Statistics


2: Michigan spent $US15.86 billion on education and 112,500 teachers, with 104,010 taking the tax credit for out of pocket for school supplies.

Percentage of teachers who claimed an educator expense deduction in 2016:93%

Average public school teacher salary: $US62,200

Total amount state spent on school supplies including pens, pencils, notebooks, and other materials for classroom study:$US254,201,000

Student to teacher ratio: 18.1

Sources:Governing.com,Internal Revenue Service,National Center for Education Statistics


1: Rhode Island spent $US2.24 billion on education and 16,320 teachers, with 16,620 taking the tax credit for out of pocket for school supplies.

Steven Senne/AP

Percentage of teachers who claimed an educator expense deduction in 2016: 102% (This number appears as greater than 100% because it includes principles and counselors, who are not included as teachers in the Bureau of Labour Statistics data.

Average public school teacher salary: $US66,477

Total amount state spent on school supplies including pens, pencils, notebooks, and other materials for classroom study:$US23,693,000

Student to teacher ratio: 15

Sources: Governing.com,Internal Revenue Service,National Center for Education Statistics

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