Clawson: ‘Teachers Tell How Far They’ll Go for Classroom Supplies’

Labor News

Students and teachers on the picket line outside Maria Saucedo Scholastic Academy in Chicago on Thursday. Credit Joshua Lott for The New York Times

Reprinted from The Daily Kos by Laura Clawson on November 9, 2019.

“It’s old news by now that teachers spend their own money on classroom supplies, but a new Washington Post report finds that the problem is even bigger than we knew,” writes Laura Clawson in The Daily Kos. “(And we knew it was big.) The Post asked teachers to tell what classroom supplies they buy and how much they spend, and got 1,200 responses.

“’I am a scavenger,’ said one Michigan teacher. ‘My friend who works in the Michigan [Department of Natural Resources] office gives me their used binders, and my husband brings me furniture and supplies that the hospital he works at is throwing away.’

“According to an Ohio teacher, ‘We are literally collecting pop tabs to recycle so we can buy more stuff.’ A California teacher takes ‘discarded things off the side of the road.’ …

Daily Kos 11/9

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Jeff Burman served on the Guild’s Board of Directors from 1992 to 2019. He is now retired. He can be reached at

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