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Teachers Spend Hundreds Of Dollars On School Supplies

Updated: Friday, August 15 2014, 09:45 AM CDT
SPRINGFIELD -- Every year teachers spend money out of their own pocket on supplies for their classroom. With costs on the rise and budgets being cut, teachers are now spending more than ever.

As the school doors prepare to open, parents aren't the only ones paying big bucks for school supplies.

"This is my 19th year of teaching and pretty much every year I spend between $1,000 and $2,000 on supplies for my classrooms," said Crysta Weitekamp, President of the Springfield Education Association.

Weitekamp says most districts offer a small stipend for classroom supplies, but that has changed with recent budget issues.

"As years have gone by we are getting less and less money to spend on classrooms supplies and teachers spend a great deal of money on those supplies, necessary supplies for their students and their classroom," said Weitekamp.

To see just how much supplies actually cost we made a stop at a supply store and bought items teachers need.

On our trip to the store we only bought 6 items, ranging from white out to post-it notes, and spent a total of $18.44. But teachers say that costs can skyrocket considering the numbers of students in the class, spread out across the entire year.

"I think it's very frustrating. Teachers historically don't make a great deal of money," said Weitekamp.

But 4th grade teacher Michelle Cunningham sees things differently. At least for now.

"I don't mind especially as a first year teacher having the start up costs and not having anything to start with. So I know this year I will have to get more things but that will help me in the future," said Cunningham

The bags of supplies in the classroom aren't just for her use. Some students may come unprepared and without her purchases they could fall behind.

"The paper, and the pencils and the dry erase board markers all play in to the lessons," said Cunningham.

Teachers say while there are a lot of school supply drives during the summer season, not all families in need get their hands on those donated supplies. That is why their classrooms are always stocked to help students without their materials.Teachers Spend Hundreds Of Dollars On School Supplies

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