A new study by Springfield-based Horace Mann insurance suggests teachers spend a lot of their own money on supplies for their classrooms.

Spokesperson Michelle Eccles says the survey conducted in May shows teachers just want the best education possible for students.

"30 percent of teachers say they are spending $200 to $400 a year on classroom supplies, and 13 percent spent $400 to $600," says Eccles.  "Another 14 percent report spending $600 or more."  That's up a percent from the last time the survey was conducted two years ago -- and includes things from math and science supplies to reading and language arts.

Eccles says her agency is renewing a partnership with the website DonorsChoose.org to try and help lessen that.

"Teachers can put up a project [on the website] for something that they want for their classroom -- whether it's general classroom supplies or...it's a special project," Eccles says.  "A lot of times, if a teacher has been on DonorsChoose for awhile, they'll do a big class field trip, and get money for that.  As you're doing more projects, you're more likely to get a project that's more expensive funded."

Eccles says Horace Mann has helped fund $3 million worth of those projects over the last several years, and they want to fund 70 of those projects in September.

(Copyright WBGZ Radio/ www.AltonDailyNews.com)