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.