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Schools in 39 of 50 states have seen decreases in funding for instructional materials for their students, according to data from the Urban Institute. These conditions have sparked a wave of teacher activism across the country.

Expand chart
Data: Urban Institute; Cartogram: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Why it matters: Educators have had to pay for supplies themselves to provide new materials for students at times. Teachers' salaries aren't enough to pay for materials, either. In some cases they have to pay for materials for dozens of children.

The big picture: Teachers are having to teach students with materials that are defective, outdated and inefficient because of a lack of funding going to state education budgets — particularly in Republican states.

"We've got to call it what it is ... teachers are begging to be heard and they're begging to have what they need to do their jobs well,"
— Teresa Danks, Oklahoma teacher and the head of Begging for Education

Behind the numbers: Costs for instruction materials per student have only risen six percent, from about $281 to $265, since the year 2000.

Go deeper

16 mins ago - Health

First cases of COVID-19 Omicron variant discovered in United Kingdom

People wearing masks walk in London on Nov. 25. Photo: Li Ying/Xinhua via Getty Images

Two cases of the new COVID-19 Omicron variant were detected in the United Kingdom over night, the U.K. Health Security Agency announced Saturday.

Why it matters: The discovery comes as the world scrambles to respond to concerns over the new variant, discovered in South Africa earlier this week.

Updated 1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Americans are super-sizing their holiday travel

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Americans are rushing back into holiday travel, and many are taking even longer trips now than they did before the pandemic began.

The big picture: After skipping Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings last year, many people are eager to maximize this year's celebrations with friends and family. And flexible remote working arrangements make that easier than ever.

Updated 1 hour ago - Energy & Environment

Pity the "green" car buyer

Expand chart
Data: IHS Markit Data; Note: Chart: Thomas Oide/Axios

Americans are more open than ever to trading in their gas cars for electrified vehicles — but they're flummoxed by the confusing array of green options arriving in showrooms.

Why it matters: Getting up to speed on the differences among hybrids, plug-in hybrids and battery-electric vehicles will be a challenge for car buyers — and salespeople, too — as we transition away from gas-powered vehicles over the next decade.