HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -- This week, Channel 3 has been taking a look inside Connecticut classrooms through the eyes of teachers with a one-of-a-kind survey.

The 23-question survey was sent out to 50,000 Connecticut public school teachers.

There were 1,400 who responded, giving answers many people are surprised to hear.

Twenty-three questions were asked, including how much of their own money they’re spending on supplies, and how many have taken on second jobs.

Some teachers spend hundreds of dollars on school supplies or items children need in order to learn.

Ongoing budget cuts are a big reason why they have to spend their own money.

When asked if they’re provided with all of the materials they need for the classroom, almost 58 percent said they're not.

Among the majority of teachers surveyed, 53 percent are spending between $101 and $500 on classroom materials and supplies every year.

Twenty-one percent are spending more than that, up to $1,000.

Hartford pre-school teacher Kathleen O’Donnell said she spends way more. She’s one of the almost 8 percent to spend over $1,000 per year.

“Art supplies, toward the end of the year you tend to run out of paper, even copy paper, crazy stuff like eyes, and food, taste test, it just adds up,” O’Donnell said.

According to the survey, 73 percent of teachers buy cleaning supplies, almost 70 percent buy school supplies, almost 60 percent buy personal hygiene products like tissues, and 59 percent buy books.

Also according to the survey, 34 percent said they have other jobs in addition to teaching.

When it comes to the main reason for that, 33 percent say their salary isn't enough and they need extra money for living expenses.

Also, 30 percent say they have to pay for their children expenses like college tuition, sports, or lessons, and almost 27 percent say they wanted to save extra money.

O’Donnell said she wasn’t surprised to hear that.

“Especially if you're not married. I am married so I have someone to balance things out but if you're not, you have to live on that salary, find those supplies. A lot of people have weekend jobs,” O’Donnell said.

"The things that teachers are spending their own personal dollars on are books, classroom supplies, snacks for the kids, cleaning supplies, disinfectants, wipes, etc., arts and crafts. All of these should be supplied by the district for the students. All of these are really critical to learning and to safety of the kids in the classroom,” said Donald Williams, executive director for the Connecticut Education Association.

The survey shows teachers with 20 years’ experience, making $80,000 or more. But then there are those who make $30,000 to $40,000 a year.

Copyright 2019 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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