This survey will come as no surprise to any teacher in this country.

A survey released last year by the education research firm Quality Education Data said that teachers nationwide spent, on average, $521 of their own money on their classrooms in 2001. For first-year elementary and middle-school teachers, the average was $701.

Actually, I’m a little surprised the amount is that low. When I was still in the classroom, my wife and I usually racked up a couple grand or more in spending for our classrooms. Of course, she teaches music which, as we all know, is just "fluff" and not worthy of any additional spending by schools.