Teachers dig deep – Parents lend hand

Teachers and parents are opening their own wallets to buy classroom supplies, and retailers in turn are making contributions tied to sales, The Wall Street Journal reported Aug. 31.

The National School Supply and Equipment Association, a trade group for makers and retailers of school goods, says teachers last year spent $448.20 on average of their own money on classroom items in its members stores, the Journal said.

The Houston Federation of Teachers says its teachers, who are reimbursed $50 a year, spent $750 to $1,000 last year, up from $500 to $750 in the early 1990s.

This year, for the first time, Portland, Ore., earmarks $75 per teacher for out-of-pocket expenses.

Office Depot in August gave credit worth 5 percent of a customer’s purchase to the school of the customer’s choice.

The chain, which ran an ad showing a teacher buying supplies, says that 70,000 schools had benefited from the program as of Aug. 20.

And Target Stores, which donates cash equal to 1 percent of purchases made with its credit card year-round, expects to give $13.7 million through October, up 36 percent from last year.

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