Americans are expected to spend about $4.9 billion on school supplies this year. While the cost may be high for parents, teachers still end up spending many times more of their own money on supplies for their students. As many school districts skimp on supplying classrooms, some teachers are turning to crowdfunding sites like DonorsChoose.org and GoFundMe to raise money for everything from tissues to printers for student projects to school field trips.
Class discussion: Should teachers beg the public to pay for school supplies? Should they use their own money to buy classroom supplies? Do your teachers ever pay for the supplies you use? Would you expect police officers and firefighters to use their own money to buy fuel for patrol cars and fire trucks? How does public spending on education compare with spending on other things such as defense, public safety, roads, prisons or football and baseball stadiums? How has spending on education changed over the years?