Teachers Spending Their Own Money for Classroom Supplies, Study Finds

Teachers going back to school are spending their hard earned salaries on supplies. A national study questioned 800 teachers and found that about 25 percent of them spend about 485-dollars on their classrooms.

That appears to be the case right here in Tulsa. Schools will pay for books and construction paper, but everything else, someone pays for. We stopped by Jennifer Thornton's classroom at Emerson Elementary. She has spent more then $400 on supplies for her third graders. She showed us a decorated bulletin board that cost her around $10 and that is just a start.

She pointed to the black shelves from Target, that she purchased for $25 each. We even saw a Walmart receipt for $85. Thornton says she worked a summer job and that she taught summer school to help pay for the special decorations and projects.

Only $250 is tax deductible.

She says their PTA may reimburse some of her money. She also puts projects on a website called, where people can donate to her class.

She considers the money, an investment in her class and her students, "If the classroom is not pretty, and bright and I just don't feel like they feel like that is comfortable. If they are comfortable they will be more engaged in your lesson," said Jennifer Thornton.

Parents most teachers have a wish list, they will gladly share with you.