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Column One: Teachers

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Teachers in New York State spend an estimated $62 million annually out of their own pockets for "basic teaching supplies,'' New York State United Teachers estimates.

The teachers' union bases that number on the results of an informal, statewide survey of some 800 precollegiate teachers. Nearly 60 percent responded to the questions.

Teachers reported spending an average of $333 a year of their own money, the survey found. The individual amounts ranged from nothing to a high of $2,500 a year.

Nearly half of the teachers said they contribute $250 or more of their own money, and 80 percent said they spend $100 or more on school supplies or items for their students each year.

The findings, NYSUT notes, mirror the results of a national survey, conducted in 1990 by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, which found that 96 percent of teachers spend their own money for materials.

Elementary teachers, NYSUT found, spent the most for supplies. Toilet paper; peanut butter, jelly, and fruit for children's lunches; used clothing; pencils; story books; science kits; a copying machine; lab coats; field-trip subsidies; and art and theater materials were among the items purchased.

Four more institutions have been selected to work with John I. Goodlad and the Center for Educational Renewal at the University of Washington on the twin goals of improving schools and strengthening the programs that prepare teachers to work in them.

Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah; Metropolitan State University in Denver; the University of Connecticut in Storrs; and the University of Southern Maine in Gorham join eight sites selected last year to work with the center.

All of the universities, the center says, have the strong partnerships with schools, well-qualified faculty members, and supportive administrations that Mr. Goodlad argues are essential if meaningful reform of teacher education is to occur.

The DeWitt Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund has awarded a grant of $794,350 to IMPACT II, The Teachers Network, a national teacher-recognition and revitalization program that rewards creative teachers and helps them share their ideas.

The organization will use the grant to provide intensive technical assistance to 9 of its 25 sites and increase its service to all of them, host regional and national meetings, distribute a monthly newsletter, and document the results of its work.--A.B.

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