What do area teachers spend on school supplies?

Nebinger elementary school art teacher Leslie Grace says she spends $3,000 annually out of her own pocket on supplies for her classroom.

Teachers have long dipped into their own pockets to fund their classrooms. Across the country, the average educator spends $530 of her or his own money annually on supplies and other items - from apps to enhance their students’ experiences to food and clothes to meet their basic needs, according to Scholastic, the publishing, education and media company. Teachers in high-needs districts tend to spend 40 percent more than their peers. Educators can now claim a $250 school-supply deduction on their taxes; the U.S. House had proposed scrapping that at one point, but the tax bill expected to pass this week would preserve it. Here’s a look at what area teachers spend on school supplies, how that’s changed, and why the deduction matters:

How can you help?

Through Donors Choose, teachers list individual projects they need help funding. Search by school or town to find a project that interests you. The Fund for the School District of Philadelphia recently launched Philly Fundamentals, a site where principals post wishlists – from art supplies to money for college visits for students. Search by schools or projects.