NSSEA Releases Study on Teacher Spending on Classroom Materials

Jul 08, 2010, 08:00 ET from National School Supply and Equipment Association

SILVER SPRING, Md., July 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National School Supply and Equipment Association (NSSEA) has just released the 2010 NSSEA Retail Market Awareness Study on teachers' spending patterns, funding sources, shopping preferences, and factors that influence their purchasing decisions.

Thirty-five percent of respondents reported spending is down for instructional materials compared to last year and 32 percent of respondents reported it is down for school supplies; another 39 percent and 40 percent, respectively, reported spending is flat. Over 30 percent of teachers reported spending less on both school supplies and instructional materials than the prior year; in contrast only about 20 percent reported spending less in the prior study. These findings, combined with the reported total spending, lead to the conclusion that total teacher spending on classroom materials is down since the 2007-2008 wave of the study.

Other Highlights:

  • It is estimated that public school teachers spent $3.5 billion on educational products purchased in the 2009-10 school year.
  • On average, teachers surveyed said they spent a total of $398 on school supplies in the 2009-10 school year and an additional $538 on instructional materials for a total of $936 on materials for their classrooms this past year.  
  • Fifty-seven percent of respondents indicated that classroom funding decreased at least in part due to the down economy. To make up the shortfall in their classrooms, teachers say they have spent more of their own money, altered their lesson plans, and asked for more from parents.
  • Teachers' personal money is the most common source of money for classroom educational products. Ninety-two percent of teachers surveyed report spending their own money for school supplies and 85 percent on instructional materials for their classrooms.  
  • Forty-seven percent of teachers responded that parents are required to purchase classroom materials, an average of $19 per child. With an estimated average class size of 25 children, that represents another $475 per teacher.
  • On average, the surveyed teachers who spend their own money on educational products reported spending about $170 of their own money on school supplies and about $186 on instructional materials for a total of $356  in the 2009-2010 school year, compared to $395 in the 2007-08 study and $552 in the 2005-06 study.

For more information on NSSEA, please visit www.nssea.org.

SOURCE National School Supply and Equipment Association