High cost of school supplies puts strain on East Texas teachers
ARP, Texas (KLTV) - With the new school year approaching, students and parents are getting ready for back-to-school shopping. However, the continued increase of school supply costs are not only affecting students, but also teachers.
According to the National Education Association, more than 90 percent of teachers spend their own money on school supplies. One analysis estimated that educators will spend more than $820.
“So far for the upcoming year, I’ve already spent roughly about $150.” Taylor Haskins, a kindergarten teacher at Arp ISD, said.
She said she usually spends about $50 for her classroom.
“We have to buy these things and they’re just getting really expensive. But we still have to do it or we don’t have it, or the kids don’t have it to start off the year so,” said Haskins.
Items she supplies herself include markers, glue, pencils and educational posters.
Arp elementary school principal Beth Hines said some Arp ISD teachers have spent almost $400.
The district usually helps supply other teacher wish list items using money from the budget. But Hines says the budget from the state can vary.
“This year they did not finish during regular legislative session. They are now in the third special session and so the budget stuff still is pending. And that happens frequently where schools start the year without a clear direction of how much money the state’s going to provide,” said Hines.
And so the district has also relied on community donations from churches and the parent teacher organization.
“It’s hard to say worry because I know our teachers, I know our community and even if we don’t get the money that we need from the state, we’re still going to make it happen,” Hines said.
Arp ISD officials added that administrators would even use their own money to support their teachers and their needs if the budget is closed or cannot be worked into the budget.
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