Latest News and Comment from Education

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Teachers often pay out of pocket for remote teaching tech

Teachers often pay out of pocket for remote teaching tech
Teachers forced to “MacGyver” their own tech solutions
When states don’t reimburse teachers for supplies, they have to figure out ways to make remote teaching work and how to pay for it

Editor’s note: This story led off this week’s Future of Learning newsletter, which is delivered free to subscribers’ inboxes every other Wednesday with trends and top stories about education innovation. Subscribe today!

When Audrey Green, a middle school teacher in Broward County, Florida, began the year working remotely with her students, she had a lot to think about.

She had to establish a personal connection with students she’s never seen face to face and help children develop tools to cope during a pandemic. And she had to handle emotionally heavy issues, like the student who hung around after class online because she said she didn’t want to be alone. All of that while also ensuring they were being challenged academically.

But before she could do any of the hard work of teaching students through a screen, she had to solve another problem. How would she set up those screens in the first place?

Teachers have long spent their own money to outfit their classrooms — on average, teachers spend $459 out of pocket on school supplies annually, according to an analysis of 2011-12 data collected by the National Center for Education Statistics. Some teachers get some of that money back: Several states provide at least partial reimbursement for these expenses and the federal government allows a $250 tax deduction, according to Alyssa Evans, a policy researcher at the Education Commission of the States.

But the national economic crisis means that teachers might be out of CONTINUE READING: Teachers often pay out of pocket for remote teaching tech