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As climate change conference opens, one CA city takes action; Israel and Hamas extend Gaza truce by one day in a last-minute deal; WV could lose hundreds of millions in Medicaid funding.

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken urges Israel to protect civilians amid Gaza truce talks, New York Rep. George Santos defends himself as his expected expulsion looms and CDC director warns about respiratory illness as flu season begins.

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Congress has iced the Farm Bill, but farmer advocates argue some portions are urgent, the Hoosier State is reaping big rewards from wind and solar, and opponents react to a road through Alaska's Brooks Range, long a dream destination for hunters and anglers.

Out-of-Pocket School Supplies Add Up for South Dakota Teachers

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Thursday, August 29, 2019   

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Across the U.S., salaries of many public school teachers continue to stagnate, with some looking to a second job to help make ends meet.

Nonetheless, every year teachers are paying for school supplies for which they are not reimbursed.

Before the year is over, the average South Dakota teacher will spend $350 of his or her own money on classroom materials.

Mary McCorkle, president of the South Dakota Education Association, says a new survey shows an overwhelming majority of K-through-12 teachers spend their own money to ensure students have what they need for a successful school year.

"There was a 2018 Department of Education survey that was released last week, and it indicates that 94% of public school teachers in the U.S. pay for supplies without reimbursement," she points out.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average out-of-pocket spending on school supplies by teachers is $460 per year.

California teachers spend almost twice as much on school supplies as do teachers in South Dakota, averaging $664 for which they are not reimbursed.

McCorkle notes that many teachers shop back-to-school sales, not only for their own children, but the children they teach.

She adds that parents also frequently purchase extra markers or notebooks and send them to classrooms because they want every student to have the supplies they need.

"Somebody doesn't have money for lunch, or they're behind, teachers are paying for that or educators are paying for that to make sure kids get fed,” McCorkle relates. “They are in the winter – somebody needs a coat – they're making sure that students have those."

The survey shows that teachers' unreimbursed school supply spending actually has increased overall since the economic recovery following the Great Recession.

State-by-state spending varies due to students' needs, how schools are funded in the state and the state's cost of living.

Disclosure: South Dakota Education Association contributes to our fund for reporting on Education. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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