School is almost in session. Students and teachers alike are getting ready for the new academic year making supply lists and shopping for supplies to get ready for the new school year.

However, the need for supplies will be ongoing for teachers throughout the year and according to a survey from, 91% of our educators will spend on average nearly $450 for the whole school year just on basic supplies alone such as pens, pencils, markers, erasers and paper.

“What other profession do you know where professionals have to use their own money to do their job properly?” says Janet Fass, spokeswoman for the American Federation of Teachers. “Do engineers, do accountants spend their own money? Why should teachers when they are far lower paid than other professionals?”

The average teacher salary is $30,000 to $40,000 a year; with budget cuts happening in many school systems across America. Some teachers have even had to cancel planned projects because of these cuts.

According to a survey released on July 30, Horace Mann. Educators Corp. found that

* 53 percent said they spend their own money, partly as a result of state budget cuts and the poor economy.

* 51 percent reported spending on general classroom supplies, 40 percent on math and science tools and 39 percent on reading materials.

* Teachers also reported budget cuts have affected extra-curricular activities, music and arts, history and civics, character education and parent activities.

* Four of five said they had to abandon projects in the past year as a result of budget cuts.

* 44 percent report their salaries have been frozen.

These supplies would normally be covered by the school but with the recent recession many schools had to make cutbacks to keep their doors open for learning.

Supplies are not the only things teachers will buy with their paycheck. Some teachers even use their money to help the student’s personal life.

According to a survey conducted by, 67% of teachers purchased food and snacks to satisfy the basic nutritional needs for their students – even ones under the free or reduced lunch program.

Teachers give a lot for their students to ensure they will succeed in life and get the education to further themselves. That is why Townsquare Media is giving back to these teachers in the Teachers Rule Contest! The top five teachers with the most votes will receive $400 worth of school supplies for their classroom courtesy of Southwest Oklahoma Federal Credit Union.

Let’s show our teachers how much they rule and give them the recognition they deserve for everything they do in and out the classroom.

More From KLAW-FM