News Release

News release for immediate release

More than half of teachers surveyed use their own money to get supplies for their classrooms

SPRINGFIELD, IL (July 30, 2013) – Changes in funding, the economy and struggling state budgets have forced many school districts to slash their annual budgets, forcing teachers to spend significant amounts of their own money to get general classroom supplies. Fifty-three percent of educators in the Horace Mann Educator Survey for June 2013 reported school budgets for classroom supplies have been cut and many teachers reported using their own money to buy supplies for the classroom or for projects.

The 814 educators responding to the survey, report on what types of projects they planned for this past school year, or what materials they needed, but weren’t covered by their school’s budget.   The top three projects were:

  • General classroom supplies (51%)
  • Math & science tools (40%)
  • Reading materials (39%)

Teachers say budget cuts also impacted extracurricular activities (18%), music and the arts (18%), history and civics (16%), character education (14%) and parent activities (13%).  Four out of five teachers reported having to abandon at least one project this year due to funding issues.

The survey also found that teachers continue to be generous with their own money even though 44% say salaries at their schools have been frozen.

The Horace Mann Educator Survey shows the amount of money a teacher spends can really add up.  The June 2013 survey showed 30% of teachers surveyed spent anywhere from $200 to $400 on general classroom supplies and 13% spent more than $600.  Three-quarters of teachers are spending over $100.  These numbers were consistent with similar reports from a 2011 Horace Mann Market Research Survey.

Horace Mann is working to help teachers fund their classroom supplies. Partnering with DonorsChoose.org since 2011, Horace Mann and its agencies have contributed more than $2 million dollars to projects teachers have posted to DonorsChoose.org.  DonorsChoose.org is a non-profit organization connecting teachers to donors who support classrooms by paying for supplies ranging from pencils and pencil sharpeners to books to iPads and even field trips.

About the Horace Mann Advisory Panel

The Horace Mann Educator Advisory Panel has been in place since 2004 and consists of educators from across the country. Educators that sign up for the advisory panel are asked to complete 4 to 5 online surveys each year. Survey topics include a mix of educational-related topics and topics related to insurance and retirement. Currently, around 1,700 educators belong to the panel and are mostly public K-12 teachers. Less than 15% of the panel members are Horace Mann customers.

About Horace Mann

Horace Mann is the largest national multiline insurance company focusing on educators' financial needs. Horace Mann provides auto and homeowners insurance, retirement annuities, life insurance and other financial solutions. Founded by Educators for Educators® in 1945, the company is headquartered in Springfield, Ill. For more information about the company, visit www.horacemann.com.

Contact:  Michelle Eccles, Horace Mann, (217) 788-5394, michelle.eccles@horacemann.com.

Educator Survey 2013 Infographic 

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