The Need to Better Support Educators


Educators are our hardest working citizens who often sacrifice their well-being for the greater social good. They bring work home, put in extra hours that are often unpaid, pay for supplies out of their own pockets, and lose sleep worrying about their neediest students. Despite their hard work, why does it seem that educators are constantly struggling against the odds?

Today, educators are asked to do more with less - and to reach students with increasingly more diverse learning needs.

Like educators, parents also put in a great deal of time, effort, and money to help their children learn, but many parents still feel unsure of themselves. Educators and parents are also left in the dark about which teaching strategies work better than others. The Helps Education Fund provides teachers and parents with free or low-cost materials and services that are usable, teacher-developed, and scientifically-base.

Without the right help, the most seasoned teachers and energetic parents can lose hope. Let us help.

Our products help educators do more and spend less. With cost and time savings, we empower educators to resist the temptation of shiny commercially-developed programs and curricula that frequently lack evidence. When schools purchase expensive programs that lack evidence, the cost to educators and children can be devastating. Money and time that is wasted on ineffective programs can be better spent on teacher salaries, relief and support staff, and classroom supplies.

Why do we support educators with highly effective but free educational tools, services, and professional development?

In July 2012, a U.S. House appropriations subcommittee passed a bill that would slash more than $1 billion from the 2013 federal education budget. Such a budget cut would hurt schools that are have already lost significant staff and funding in recent years. For example, in North Carolina during 2011, budget cuts to education resulted in schools cutting 915 teachers, more than 2,000 teacher assistants, and nearly 5,000 total education jobs. Superintendents from across the state spoke out about the harmful impact of the cuts. Investing in Education in NC (2012)

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), the current U.S. recession resulted in substantial budget cuts to K–12 education for most U.S. states. For example, Michigan’s fiscal year budget for 2010 included a $165 per-pupil spending reduction from the previous year, Hawaii’s 2009–2010 school year was shortened by more than 3 weeks, and Massachusetts enacted cuts to early intervention programs and K–12 funding, including cuts to teacher training and services for disabled students. Johnson et al. (2010)

Internationally, on average, teachers reported that 17% of their students were in need of remedial reading instruction. However, in nearly every country, the percentage of students needing remedial reading instruction exceeded the percentage who actually received remedial instruction. Mullis et al. (2007)

In North Carolina (and similar for other U.S. states), a 2008 survey showed that 87% of North Carolina teachers indicated that K–12 educators desire more time and resources to meet the educational needs of their students. Hirsch & Church (2009)

Similar to the research sited above, across the U.S., teachers report needing more effective educational tools and professional development in order to meet their students’ needs. Fletcher et al. (1999)

According to Complete College America (2012), a Washington-based nonprofit aimed at increasing college completion , 4 out of 10 high school graduates are required to take remedial courses when they start college in order to address skills they did not acquire in high school. For freshman seeking an associate degree, more than 50% require remediation courses. These data highlight an important need to support K-12 teachers so that graduating high school students have the full set of skills needed to begin college.

A national survey of teachers’ needs showed that more teachers desired professional development to improve their instructional skills, compared to any other teaching domain. Coalition for Psychology in Schools and Education (2006)



Coalition for Psychology in Schools and Education. (2006). Report on the Teacher Needs Survey. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association, Center for Psychology in Schools and Education.

Complete College America (2012). Retrieved July 2012 from

Fletcher, T. V., Bos, C. S., & Johnson, L. M. (1999). Accommodating English language learners with language and learning disabilities in bilingual education classrooms. Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, 14, 80-91.

Hirsch, E., & Church, K. (2009). North Carolina teacher working conditions research brief: Summary of findings. Retrieved from

Investing in Education in NC (2012). Retrieved July 2012 from

Johnson, N., Oliff, P., & Williams, E. (2010). An update on state budget cuts: Governors proposing new round of cuts for 2011; at least 45 states have already imposed cuts that hurt vulnerable residents. Retrieved from

Mullis, I., Martin, M. O., Kennedy, A. M., & Foy, P. (2007). IEA's progress in international reading literacy study in primary school in 40 countries. Chestnut Hill, MA: TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center.