Survey finds Md. teachers use own money to buy supplies, have 2nd jobs

In this July 24, 2017 photo, pencils are at the ready on a teachers desk at Bruns Academy in Charlotte, N.C. Nearly all public school teachers report digging into their pockets to pay for school supplies, spending nearly $480 a year, far more than the federal $250 tax deduction available to teachers, according to a study by the National Center of Education Statistics released Tuesday. (Davie Hinshaw/The Charlotte Observer via AP)

WASHINGTON — An astonishing number of local teachers use their own money to pay for classroom supplies, and many work second jobs to make ends meet.

A new survey of teachers sponsored by the Maryland State Education Association finds that 91 percent of teachers in Maryland use their own money for classroom supplies. In addition, more than 40 percent have a second job to make ends meet.

When asked about working conditions in their schools, 71 percent of educators agree with the statement “inadequate staffing levels make it hard to keep my head above water during the school day.”

Also, 69 percent of educators agree with the statement “my school does not have the funding we need to help every student be successful.” And, 62 percent of educators agree with the statement “my salary makes it hard for my family to make ends meet.”

MSEA President Cheryl Bost is calling on the General Assembly to act. She said, “Far too many educators are struggling to make ends meet. It’s clear that Maryland needs to do more for our teachers and school staff.”

A study by the Economics Study Institute finds that Maryland teachers make 84 cents on the dollar compared to other professions.

The poll was conducted by GBA Strategies on behalf of the association. The survey results carry a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points.

The Kirwan Commission is developing final recommendations to address the $2.9 billion in annual underfunding of Maryland’s public schools identified by an independent analysis overseen by the Maryland State Department of Education. The commission’s recommendations will be taken up by the 2019 General Assembly.