2019 Finances Getty
What Americans have said

What teachers said: Are schools adequately funded?

In addition to the traditional PDK poll of Americans, PDK convened online focus groups with public school parents and public school teachers, thanks to funding support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. These comments are drawn from those two groups.

The schools where I live are adequately funded, but they do not know how to use the money wisely. Money is being spent on salaries for numerous administrators who are falling over each other. Too many directors of curriculum, directors of this and that for over $100,000 a year. We should have business people running that part of education not educators running the business part. Just like we shouldn't have business people deciding curriculum for teachers.

Jean, 60, mixed-race high school teacher in suburban Delaware

Money needs to be spent for mental health professional support services, class sizes, and teacher salaries. Mental health professionals would have an impact on student life as teachers wouldn't need to be as much of a jack of all trades. Class sizes would also impact the quality of education that students are getting as teachers would be able to individualize their lessons more, give more direct support to students, and notice more acutely when students need extra support.

Anna, 27, Black early elementary teacher in urban Minnesota

Students have outdated books and not enough of the resources that should be readily available to them. Money is being misspent on fly-by-night programs that usually don't align with the population of children we teach. Class sizes are way too large.

Colleen, 41, Black high school teacher in suburban Georgia

If I could wave my magic wand, I would first put in an after-school program, top-notch, for these high-needs kids.

Trisha, 36, White 1st-grade teacher in rural New Mexico

School is one of the more important topics in our society. Without a good education and base for growing into a capable adult, we have nothing to offer for our future. If we invest in our kids, we are investing in our future. It's not only imperative for them to have access to a variety of classes and career opportunities, they also need to have access to great teachers who care. And that means compensating them fairly for what may be one of the hardest jobs out there.

Lindsey, 41, mixed-race mother of five in Oregon suburb​​

Teachers will be more creative if they have access to more supplies without having to reach into their own pockets.


Jennifer, 35, Hispanic kindergarten teacher in rural New Jersey

Teachers use much of their own money to operate their classrooms effectively. Due to the teachers' salaries, it is absolutely not fair they have to use personal funds to take care of the needs of the students and classroom necessities.

Moniqua, 45, Black middle school teacher in urban Michigan

I would give more resources for counselors and social workers as I believe there are many students desperately in need of these services. I also would increase funds for bilingual educators and counselors. I also believe there should be massive increases in arts education (art and music) and a de-emphasis on standardized testing.

Tim, 50, White middle school special education teacher in suburban Virginia

Give us smaller classes. Give the children access to mental health professionals in school. Give us more technology and well-maintained buildings and resources. Give us money to spend on our classrooms, to create libraries full of books that spark children's curiosity and imagination. Give children healthier food, and stop throwing extra away. Make to-go boxes for kids who have free and reduced lunch as school food is often all many kids can rely on for eating that day. Give us more opportunities for professional development in teaching students who are facing trauma, culturally responsive teaching, language support in mainstream classrooms.

Anna, 27, Black early elementary teacher in urban Minnesota

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