A glass jar of coins spills out.

2015 Teacher Spending Survey

Posted on Jul 23, 2015 · 3 min read

Last year, SheerID and Agile Education Marketing teamed up to conduct a survey of K-12 teachers to find out more about teacher spending habits. The results were so interesting, that we surveyed over 500 teachers again this year, and now we all get to geek out over the results.

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, at least thirty states in the U.S. provided less per-pupil funding for K-12 students during the 2014-2015 school year than they did before the recession hit. About 46% of total educational spending comes from state funds. The teachers we surveyed were experiencing the aftershocks of budget cuts as more of the money spent on their classrooms came from their own pockets instead of their schools or districts.

  • The average amount of their own money that teachers spent was $490
  • The average amount teachers received from their school to spend on classrooms was $300
  • The average amount teachers received from school districts was $247

Although education budgets fluctuate from state to state and district to district, teachers’ average spending for classroom supplies has stayed steady for the past two years- right around $500.

Businesses like T-Mobile, Costco, Newegg, and many others– are offering teachers exclusive discounts to help our educators save money, and teachers are thankful for their help. The overwhelming majority feels valued by brands that offer teacher discounts and academic pricing, and they are more likely to shop in those stores.

If the number of teachers that SheerID verifies every month is any indication, a lot more teachers are using exclusive discounts this year. They clearly don’t mind providing some basic information like their names, schools, and the schools’ zip code if it means they can save some cash or get free shipping or other perks. However, we learned that there is some information that teachers aren’t willing to share.

  • 96% of teachers will not disclose their Social Security numbers in order to receive a discount
  • 71% will not disclose the last four digits of their SSN

We don’t blame them. With all the news about security breaches and scams out there, we don’t want to give out our Social Security numbers either, that’s why we don’t ask for them!

Out of curiosity, we also asked teachers about their social media use in and out of the classroom setting. It turns out, 68% reported that they have used at least one social media network for teaching purposes, and they do not necessarily use the same platforms for classroom use that they use on their own time. 71% of teens use multiple social media sites, and it appears that their teachers do too. One teacher we know hypothesized that teachers are turning to sites like Pinterest and blogs to look for free educational resources, which is just one more way they can stretch their budgets.

Our survey returned a lot of fascinating information this year. Looking at the results, the main takeaway for retailers to remember is teachers like saving money through discounts, teacher appreciation programs and by using online resources, and they will be loyal to brands that offer them special perks, but they aren’t willing to take risks with extremely sensitive data online in exchange for discounts. Thanks to all the teachers who took our survey this year and to Agile Education Marketing for partnering with us on it.

Photo Source: Flickr user Pictures of Money

Angela Modzelewski by Angela Modzelewski
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  1. […] targeting parents and students, don’t forget about teachers who, according to a survey from SheerID and Agile Education Marketing, will spend close to $500 of their own money purchasing back to school supplies for their […]

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