Teachers go out of pocket $453 on materials and activities for their students

July 12, 2010
Edmonton… The average Canadian teacher was out of pocket by $453 for expenses on classroom materials or class-related activities in the 2008-09 school year, according to a recent survey conducted by the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF). Results of the online teacher survey were released today by CTF President Mary-Lou Donnelly at the Federation’s President’s Forum: The Funding of Public Education: Great Promise, being held today and tomorrow in Edmonton.

“One of the barometers of education underfunding is a growing reliance on outside sources of funding,” says CTF National President Mary-Lou Donnelly. “Teachers in classrooms across this country are spending significant sums of their own money to fill the funding gap in order to address their students’ learning needs,” she says, noting that a similar survey conducted by CTF five years earlier estimated the average amount spent per teacher at $344.

“When multiplied by the nearly 200,000 teachers represented by CTF through its Member organizations, teachers not only make a significant professional contribution to the education of our nation’s children, but also a significant financial contribution,” adds Donnelly.

“Parents, students and other school community members also contribute to filling the funding gap. According to the survey, 95 per cent of teacher respondents noted their schools regularly conduct fundraising activities through sales, community donations, contests and admission fees to school-related activities. Among the top fundraising activities was the sale of products at school.

“This speaks to the bigger issue – the dramatic decline of education funding over time in Canada. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), Canada ranks below the international average in expenditures on education in a comparison of funding of the primary, secondary and post secondary levels,” concludes Donnelly.

The online survey involved 328 Canadian teachers from across the country between Feb. 28 and March 1, 2010.

The Canadian Teachers’ Federation represents nearly 200,000 teachers in Canada as their national voice on education and related social issues. It is a member of Education International.


Comments: Mary-Lou Donnelly, CTF President
Information: Myles Ellis, Director of Research and Information
Media Contact: Francine Filion, Director of Communications, 613-688-4314 or 613-899-4247 (cell)