Teachers spend big bucks on back to school

“At least a thousand dollars,” that’s how much Dayton Public School second grade teacher Samantha Arthur said she spends out of pocket every year on her students.

She is among 10 percent of teachers who spend that much or more for back to school supplies every year, according to the latest survey from the National School Supply and Equipment Association.

“I think it’s unfortunate that we have to, but I want to because the stuff that I buy is the stuff that encourages the kids to do better,” said Arthur.

The average amount teachers spend is $500, the NSSEA survey found.

“It seems like the supplies the school provides just get less and less,” said Northwestern Schools teacher Denise Hermetz, who blames budget cuts for the out of pocket expenses.

She estimates she will spend about $50 on her computer lab this year, but spent hundreds when she was a science instructor.

“Teachers are coming out of pocket with their own money and spending it to make sure their students are successful in the classroom,” said F & S School Supply owner Laura Kastan.

Her Kettering store offers teachers a frequent buyer program, for every $100 spent teachers receive $10 off the next purchase, and will be promoting the upcoming Ohio sales tax holiday, August 5-7.

Back to school shopping: procrastinate with a purpose

Although a National Retail Federation survey found that parents started shopping early for back to school this year, in Ohio it may pay to procrastinate.

The first weekend in August will be the second year in a row for the Ohio sales tax holiday.

It means customers won’t be charged the 5.75 percent sales tax on school supplies and instructional materials $20 or less, and clothing purchases $75 an item or less.

See frequently asked questions from the Ohio Department of Taxation here.

Back to school steals

On average, families with kids in K-12 say they expect to spend about $670 this year on back to school clothing, supplies, and electronics, according to a new National Retail Federation survey. Total back to school spending (including college) is expected to jump 11 percent this year to $75.8 billion, according to the NRF.

Do you have your kiddo’s supply list in hand and you don’t know where to start?

Deal news.com has put together this handy list of back-to school shopping do’s and don’ts, including why bottom-dollar finds aren’t always your best bet.

Fatwallet.com has a list of sales and coupons for multiple brands and stores from Dell to Walmart.

Time’s Money has this list of where you can find supplies for just one cent, or at least under a buck.

If you are headed to the stores, bring along your smart phone. If you find a better deal online while you are shopping at Staples, they will match the price plus 10 percent.

Rachel Murray is a WHIO-TV consumer reporter. You can watch her reports on News Center 7, follow her on Twitter @RMurrayWHIO, and like her fan page on Facebook.

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