Spending Money on your Classroom

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Ms.Holyoke, Jun 3, 2018.

  1. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Jun 8, 2018

    I've only worked in title 1 schools (alternative ed) and I've always had a sufficient budget for everything. It toaled $750 I think, and I'm not sure how it was divided, but it was $500 and $250 for classroom supplies and novels or other books, just not sure what was what.

    In reality what I have found was that most teachers have stocked up on everything. When I took over my classroom I already had enough supplies, paperclips enough for 10 years, then we moved last year, and moved back this year and I ended up in a classroom that was not cleaned out. So each move has added to my office supply collection.
    Maybe I have been lucky and this is not the norm?

    I think it would be a good idea to ask other teachers if they have anything to spare (for example I'd be glad to give up 3 boxes of paper clips, etc), but I would wait until I got to know them a little.

    Definitely find out from admin if you have a budget, that's easy. If you don't, definitely set up something for "donorschoose" . I'm not sure what grade you'll be teaching (sorry if I missed it), I know it's harder in elementary, but in middle school and high school the kids really just need paper and pencils or pens. They can be asked to bring their own, but if you have to buy some pencils to get things started, it won't be too expensive.
     
  2. Geologygirl

    Geologygirl Comrade

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    Jul 3, 2018

    I work at a higher socioeconomic school and we tend to get less money than the lower ones due to the funding formula. We are given 4 cases of copy paper, textbooks, and sometimes I will get colored pencils, or I got rulers one year...I a science teacher who has to purchase most of my lab supplies. Any lab money goes to bio teachers, then chem. That being said my husband and I go to goodwill a lot. Iv gotten copy paper, pencils, glue sticks ect... at a lower cost.Another trick is to not put all of your supplies out at one time. For example? I only put out 10 to 15 pencils at a time. Kids tend to feel it's ok to keep supplies if it looks like you have a lot. Those 10 pencils will disappear as fast as all 200 if you put them all out. I also split the amount of markers and colored pencils I buy in 2 and will use the first half during the first half of the year and the other during the second half. That way I have supplies for all year without having to buy as much to replace those which are used up or which go missing.
     
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  3. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Aficionado

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    Jul 3, 2018

    Are you in California? If so, are you referring to the LCFF (Local Control Funding Formula)?
     
  4. Backroads

    Backroads Fanatic

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    Jul 3, 2018

    My new position is at a non-Title 1 school.

    I'm actually a little worried about how to manage without Title 1 funds. I've never done it before.
     
  5. miss-m

    miss-m Habitué

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    I'm starting to notice though that more school funding doesn't necessarily lead to more/better supplies. My school is Title 1 AND on a state improvement plan, so in theory we have tons of extra funding. My principal is really good about getting us what we need when we ask for it, but it still feels like we lack so much basic stuff. We get 2 cases of paper per year (1 each semester) and students are expected to bring supplies that mostly end up being communal supplies just because not all of them have them. We can ask for extra pencils, markers, etc. but our vendors are limited and it can take a really long time to get the amount of something we need. Plus... we get all our office supplies from Staples, so it just ends up being so expensive. I can get standard comp notebooks from Walmart or Target for $0.50 each, but if the school buys them from Staples we end up with the plastic cover ones that don't stay open and probably cost anywhere from $1 to $3, which is completely ridiculous (actually I just did the math -- for the 24 packs of plastic cover comp notebooks, it comes to $2.70 per notebook).

    It's just frustrating that the extra funds that go toward low SES schools have to be used in such a particular way that it almost renders them useless for what we actually need.
     
  6. Been There

    Been There Habitué

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    I've worked at schools at both ends of the spectrum and several in between and have never been at a loss for supplies even though I vowed never to spend my own money on whatever was needed. From Day 1, I learned to be extremely conservative with school supplies. Whereas other teachers used several reams per week, one ream lasted me for 3-4 months - my students did 100X more writing than their peers in other classes where numerous worksheets were passed out every day. I even taught previously undisciplined second graders at a low-performing school to do homework without worksheets. Instead of being provided with an endless supply of pencils, paper, etc., everyone was aware that the materials within view were a non-renewable resource that needed to be rationed and used with discretion - they were given the responsibility to oversee the use of supplies. Interestingly, within a short time, students began bringing their own pencils and paper to school and even shared them with each other - problem solved!

    Principals have a great amount of flexibility in how school funds are spent - there are many ways to tweak a school budget to accommodate the need for additional supplies. However, teachers that spend their own money on everything from pencils, paper, carpets, rolling carts, storage bins, etc. are not only making the principal's job easier, but are also enabling their bosses to make frivolous purchases for unnecessary junk at the end of the year, to use up unspent funds. (Those of you who have seen storerooms full of unused new equipment know what I mean.)
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2018
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  7. Backroads

    Backroads Fanatic

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    Jul 3, 2018

    Be it known that spending lots of personal money does not necessarily make you a great teacher.
     
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  8. Aces

    Aces Companion

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    Jul 4, 2018

    My school is incredibly stingy with paper and toner limiting how many copies we can make per year. So I tend to just buy my own and do it anyways. Not that I'm wasting paper just making extra copies because I can but. I worked out out last year it was something like 150 copies per week or something. And if you've got 3 classes of 25 students each, make copies of a homework assignment that's my copies for the week used. I spend more on the theater than my actual classroom because that's where it's needed most.
     
  9. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I spend VERY LITTLE. I’m in a high SES district so we don’t lack ‘the basics’. Budget has been tightened
    For classrooms due to other perceived priorities, but we have what we need for the most part.
     
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  10. TnKinder

    TnKinder Companion

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    Jul 5, 2018

    I don’t t spend much of my own money on my classroom. My state gives teachers a small sum that my district requires us to spend at the teacher store. I’m lucky that the school’s facilitator supplies lots of the basic office supplies for teachers. We have a stocked supply closet from donations from our school sponsors. So if I spend my own money it’s for things that I want to make the job easier or for small treats for the class. This summer I will spend about $30 making new chair bags.
     
  11. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Jul 5, 2018

    My first couple years, I would spend over $1000 per year. I've slowly dwindled that number down to where I might buy my kids a mint for the day of the state math test. If I remember to get them. If my school needs me to have it, they'll get it for me. If they don't think it's important enough to buy it for me, then we'll do without it.
     
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  12. Bibliophile

    Bibliophile Companion

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    Jul 5, 2018

    The year started in a charter school I walked into an empty room. Our tech wasn't even in yet so no doc cam or computer and it wouldn't be for the first few weeks of school. I had tables and chairs and a carpet. The curriculum was "on back order" so it didn't come for 2 months. That was it. My budget you ask-0.

    I spent a fortune that year. And when I left I took every last thing with me. I felt bad for the teacher taking over the room because I knew what a struggle she was in for.

    When I moved into my new school a month later and perused my beloved union contract I practically wept. 500 a year budget (though it was reduced two years later to 350 a year). And curriculum would be there well before the first day. And then the P brought me a gift-30 new white boards and a mega pack of 60 dry erase markers since she knew that the room didnt come with them (I had a new classroom). Heaven I tell ya.
     
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  13. stuartmeaker

    stuartmeaker New Member

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    Jul 7, 2018

    nice information..
     
  14. flairpen

    flairpen Rookie

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    Jul 9, 2018

    Reading some of the other posts makes me feel very fortunate about my situation. Students purchase a complete package of supplies at the start of the year that has everything you could think of needing. I don't want to post the exact amount, but teachers also get well over $1000.00 to spend on whatever we would like to buy to be used in our classroom.
     
  15. Been There

    Been There Habitué

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    Jul 9, 2018

    Public or private?
     
  16. flairpen

    flairpen Rookie

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    Private (Canada).
     
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  17. Mrs. Mac13

    Mrs. Mac13 Rookie

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    Jul 10, 2018

    All the expense we have to pay to become a teacher school, exams, and videos you would think schools would want
    to help us out more. My school under previous administration would have a budget of $300 but if you went over it or bought something during the year you would get reimbursed. New administration chopped our budget to $150 with no reimbursements. We will just say staff morale has dropped considerably. I’ve heard of teachers having classroom tag sales for things they don’t want anymore. Summer tags or garage sales for furniture just a little sanding and paint and you are all set. I’m a bit of a loon when it comes to my room you do not want to know what I spent a couple of years ago. We will just say it was a great tax write off with a little return. Shh don’t tell my husband. Good luck everyone! :)
     
  18. TeacherWhoRuns

    TeacherWhoRuns Companion

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    Jul 16, 2018

    This past year we had a new principal who was all about sticking to curriculum. She told us all she wanted to know if we knew of any coworkers coloring outside the lines, so to speak. I decided if that was her jam, I wasn’t going to bend over backwards adding anything special. Why bother if you’re just going to get in trouble for it? I used the cheap supplies the school purchased. It did make things easier, I have to admit. One of the few things I brought in was a tin of magnets and tacks and t-pins that was promptly stolen from my room. I’m not all that jazzed about making financial contributions these days.
     
  19. Melani Glover

    Melani Glover Rookie

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    Jul 18, 2018

    I completely understand your frustration with this, indeed teacher brings so much to a class in the form of their skill, passion and knowledge, the least the school or the community can do is to provide them with all the necessary supplies. This will draw more people towards taking teaching as a profession.
     

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