How much do you spend out of pocket?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Teppiedoo, May 21, 2015.

  1. Teppiedoo

    Teppiedoo Rookie

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    May 21, 2015

    Hi All,

    I'm currently working at a wealthy private school. Anything I pay for out of pocket usually gets reimbursed (I know I am SO lucky!!)

    However, next year I will be teaching in my dream position in a public school. :)

    How much money do you guys usually spend on supplies and things out of pocket? Do you usually spend more your first year? Or is every year pretty constant?

    THANKS!!
     
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  3. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    I'm at a charter. Everything I need, within reason, is supplied by either the school or parents. I buy a lot for my own wants, though. Baskets, organizational bins, chapter books, stickers, posters, workbooks... I have easily spent over $200 this school year. I am a really thrifty shopper, and I have purchased a ton of stuff. This is my first year, also.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I claim the max on my taxes.
     
  5. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I spent well over $1200 my first year. I spent a little less as the years went on, though.

    Even as an administrator, I fork out several hundred each year: staff breakfasts, teacher appreciation lunch, small gifts during Christmas, etc.
     
  6. Teppiedoo

    Teppiedoo Rookie

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    YIKES!! Ok, thanks guys...super helpful. :)

    So do you just make sure you save every receipt?
     
  7. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    I do spend out of pocket, but I try to make it my last result. I first try to hit up the principal, then possibly the PTO, then possibly the parents. I always ask parents (never demand) and usually most parents will donate if the $$$ is a small amount. I find that if I ask for more than $10, the amount of parents helping often declines. Therefore, I try to keep it to $10 or less/parent.
     
  8. Teppiedoo

    Teppiedoo Rookie

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    Oh so you are allowed to ask for financial donations? Crazy!

    I was thinking of just making a wish list or an Amazon Teacher Wish List for getting supply donations.
     
  9. ktdclark

    ktdclark Comrade

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    We can ask for "donations" at our school.

    I spend about 300-500 of my own money each year. For example, I read Stone Fox this year and my students LOVED it so I bought them all their own copy. I paid $5.00/student on a photo of a seal kiss from our beach field trip. I just spent $70 printing pictures off from our field trip for our open house. Not to mention the beginning of school supplies and secret basket prizes...
     
  10. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    We get reimbursed for a small amount, but I still spend hundreds out of pocket. I've accepted it. Science just requires a lot of materials and I want to do fun activities with my kids.
     
  11. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I spend a lot--I don't keep track or keep receipts because here we can't claim any on our taxes. Nothing that I spend money on is essential to my program. I spend a small amount on classroom decor, but a lot on books for literature circles and for the classroom library and on math manipulatives. We do have some in the school for all teachers to sign out, but having my own ensures that I always have what I need.
     
  12. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I used to spend a little bit, mostly at penny sales. Now the only money I regularly spend on my classroom is really just for stuff for me, like pens and whatnot. I don't purchase stuff for student use. If it's important and necessary, their parents or can buy it for them or the school can provide it.
     
  13. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    May 22, 2015

    I've spent somewhere between $300-$400 this year. This is highly unusual for me as I generally don't believe teachers should be expected to buy stuff. But... I really wanted chair pockets and figured they would be mine-all-mine and then I got addicted to TeachersPayTeachers and have gone somewhat above my funding on that.

    Generally, I try to stick to my given funding or ask the principal about bigger things.

    Unfortunately, I still don't think I've spent enough to make it worth a tax claim.
     
  14. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Completely agree with this.

    Students are required to bring their own school supplies, so hitting up the parents is just part of the system and has never been a problem. I'm still trying to get through the pencils brought in last year.
     
  15. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    I think it's much easier to spend less money in high school compared to elementary, but I try not to spend money on my students. I can do my job as long as I have a whiteboard, copy paper, and my students have pencils and paper. I do purchase things that I need, like binders, pens, post-its, etc. which can already add up. I buy extra golf pencils for my students, and if they need paper, I give them the cheap recycled paper that we get for free. I sometimes purchase things that I need for a fun lesson for my students. I just did a cup stacking activity with my Algebra 1 class, so I needed a bunch of styrofoam cups. I try to take advantage of the $250 tax deductible that we get so I am essentially not spending much money at all.
     
  16. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    When I taught K-5 SPED for many years, I would regularly spend $2000-$3000 because all the district provided me with was an empty room and outdated curriculum. I scrounged up furniture and bought everything else I wanted.

    Then I left SPED at that school and moved to a school that provided much more. I had a garage sale with my stuff and made tons!

    Now I am teaching multi-age SPED again, but in a private school, I spend no more than $100 per year.
     
  17. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    This thread has me thinking...

    Are there any schools and/or districts that do expect teachers to pay for the crux of the needed materials out of their own pocket? A teacher's "investment in the career", so to speak?
     
  18. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    I occasionally buy "extra" things for a fun treat or project that I want to do. I've also spent some money on things I want to have to make my room more comfortable and/or organized for myself and my students--bookshelves, book bins, etc.
     
  19. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    I remember my MAT mentor teacher saying that public school teachers should avoid paying out of pocket for needed supplies because we end up essentially funding education with our own salaries, instead of letting the district feel the real need to fund their own schools. I find in reality, there are certain things I end up providing because they make my day-to-day life better: hand sanitizer, tissues, paper towels, disinfectant wipes, etc. These aren't really "educational" items, but they do improve my quality of life since I'm not getting sick all the time!

    I also do pick up odds and ends at the dollar store from time to time, mostly because I just love shopping for school supplies!

    My district gives us about $80 per class section to spend, but that includes buying things like computer/copy paper and any and all classroom supplies. We also have various funding sources to go to for other projects or extras.

    I also claim the $250 reimbursement and really need to get better about saving my receipts in case I am ever audited!
     
  20. Koriemo

    Koriemo Comrade

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    May 22, 2015

    I sped money when I purchase organizational things for personal use, and I have purchased a few things on TPT when I felt too busy to plan and create materials myself.
     
  21. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    I spend about $500 a year, but next year I think I can probably spend a bit less. There's nothing major right now that I think I need.
     
  22. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Although I'm no longer a classroom teacher, Teachers Pay Teachers still gets me in trouble because they have lots of goodies for administrators, too!
     
  23. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    My cousin's wife, a year or so ago, was sharing on Facebook different ideas for teacher gifts. One suggestion was a TeachersPayTeachers gift card.

    I kind of scoffed at that idea at the time. A gift card to a teacher lesson plan site? Please.

    Oh, hindsight. Now I would love such a gift!
     
  24. kellzy

    kellzy Comrade

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    Nada. We get $175 legislative money every single year. Our district springs for $250. My school also has a business partner that donates $500 to every classroom every year. Beyond that we have massive amounts of title 1 funding, meaning that we have open supplies for things like paper, and anything extra we can find money for, because we usually have a hard time finding the ways to spend the kind of title 1 funding we have. Basically, if it's a need or a want, we have it.
    And our school is really open about things. If you see something awesome someone is doing, all you need do is ask and they will 100% of the time give you master copies or let you borrow supplies and no one gets butt hurt if someone copies something you sent to the printer.
     
  25. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    I worked somewhere not long ago where teachers were buying their own paper for the copy machines. We were also told that we couldn't "require" students to bring in supplies, and it was a really low income area, so few students brought in what they needed. The school wouldn't provide basics like pencils and notebooks, so teachers ended up buying those things too.
     
  26. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

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    Our school gives 100.00 every year to spend. Years when I am new to a grade level I usually spend quite a bit. I have bought a few things from Tpt, but have a ton of stuff on my wish list. School supplies I usually do buy some when they are on sale. You can never have enough crayons and glue sticks.
     
  27. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Yes, I am able to ask for donations, and I run it by the P the first few times each year that I do it. I have tried the Amazon wish list and I get very little from that.
     
  28. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I have spent up to a few hundred in years past. I spent less than 10 dollars out of pocket this year. All three of the schools I've worked in have provided a supply budget of around $150-250 dollars. In my first district, sped was not provided any curriculum and my school also did not stock basic supplies like paper and pencils. Since I wasn't a classroom teacher, I couldn't send out a supply list like everyone else. If I wanted each kid to have binder, a notebook, and a folder for my class, I had to buy that for each kid. So although I got a 150 dollar supply budget, I had to pay for absolutely everything. Honestly, at the time with it being my first job I was so thrilled to have a job that I didn't mind spending the money.

    My second job was as a classroom teacher, so I got most materials provided for me. I did work in an extremely low SES school, but even so, most students did bring in their supplies from their supply list. I did have to spend some of my own money as supplies started running out at the end of the year, but it wasn't much.

    My current job has been my best situation supply wise. Sped is provided with curriculum materials, although I often have to beg the district to buy more workbook type materials that get used up every year. My school provides all basic supplies like pencils, paper, pens, folders, whiteboard markers/erasers etc. so I don't have to worry about buying basic supplies. I've been able to spend most of my budget money on additional curriculum materials. Last year I did buy some things out of pocket, but they were "wants" vs. "needs"- I could have gotten buy without them had I decided I didn't want to spend the money. This year I decided I wouldn't be spending any money on my classroom and was able to hold to that pretty easily.
     
  29. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    We can't claim anything on taxes either. I spend too much, but every year I buy less. I'm getting better as I accumulate what I'd like to have. I get to submit a 'needs' list every June for the following September and I usually get what I ask for. I'm leaving the classroom at the end of this year for another position in my school division and it's shocking how much of my current classroom has been purchased with my personal money. The mountain of boxes really puts things into perspective!
     
  30. TnKinder

    TnKinder Companion

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    Supplies

    I don't spend money unless it's something for me to use like a cute pen. My district gives each teacher $100 each school year. We ask and expect parents to buy school supplies even though we are a title one district. Most parents provide the supplies listed, but those who really can't buy them can get supplies for free from one of the many churches that offer give aways, or I get them from the office. We have adopter that donated supplies and uniforrms yearly. The money the district gives us is not used for basic supplies, we use it for center activities, art supplies, and the like.
     
  31. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    Roughly $1000 a year. And no, we don't get reimbursed for any of it.

    :|
     
  32. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    If you don't mind sharing: on what?
     
  33. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    I'm pretty fortunate because my school provides most necessary supplies, and we do get $250 at the beginning of the year above our regular supply budget.

    My biggest expense is books. I want all my classroom library books to belong to me, so I purchase them out of pocket. I buy a lot of books, both fiction and nonfiction (especially going with our social studies and science content). My book club sets belong to the school, however. I get those reimbursed out of our curriculum fund.

    My second biggest expense is TPT! I spent a small fortune on math games stations this year because I was in a new grade level. It should be better next year now that I have lot of stuff. A lot of people say TPT is a waste of money, but sometimes you have to choose between spending time and spending money. I have limited time, so I'll often choose money.

    Other than that, I may spend some here and there on supplies for special projects or treats. Right now we are doing our ABC countdown to the end of the year, so I've bought some things like glowsticks (for G), and play dough (for P).

    I don't know a dollar amount. Several hundred definitely.
     
  34. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I worked at such a place although it wasn't low income. It was high entitlement. It was a 1:1 school. I even had to buy a physical textbook online for a student whose 504 required it. Now I know I could have fought that one but then I didn't.
     
  35. allaragallagher

    allaragallagher Comrade

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    I spent $1000 my first year and then stopped. I didn't realize how much I had spent until I filed my taxes. I haven't bought anything since. I was buying extra copies of books, books for my classroom library, binders, sheet protectors, pencils, pens, paper, cleaners, markers, etc. I now try to depend on donations or Donors Choose projects.
     
  36. allaragallagher

    allaragallagher Comrade

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    I'm also guilty of having spent a couple hundred bucks on TPT.
     
  37. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    No, I don't mind.

    Things like.........

    1. Pencils - They never show up with anything to write with and unless I want them to foul-up my class, it's better to provide them with something. (Then of course, they conceal them before they leave or snap them into several pieces because they think it's funny.)

    2. Copies - There are not enough textbooks so copies of short stories, assignment questions, exercises, etc. (And the school puts a monthly limit on the number of copies we're allowed to make.)

    3. Scantron Answer Sheets - The machine sits in a side room of the main office. The school rarely orders answer sheets and seems to discourage our use of it. But when you have to mark 165 exams by hand, and there's no scheduled in-service day between the day you give the test and when marks are due, you do what you have to do to survive.

    That's major stuff.
    :rolleyes:
     
  38. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I have a similar problem with pencils. It is AMAZING how about 1/2 of the students who claim they don't have one, are able to find one at the bottom of their bookbag. They're just lazy.

    I've put out pencils to share to find them missing or broken. Missing I can handle - it means they will have one for the next class. Broken angers me beyond measure.

    When my available stash is depleted (I replenish once a week) then students can borrow from friends, trade me a phone for collateral or use a broken crayon. If it is a test (I too use scantrons) then they can use a crayon to mark their answers on a blank sheet of paper and come after school on a day they have a pencil and transfer it to a scantron then. Their test grade remains a zero until that time. Usually by this time I have given a student a pencil and have told them to hang onto it for at least a month.

    There is an app where you can print out scantron sheets and use your phone to scan the results. It costs money, but is cheaper than buying the scantrons. Much cheaper.
     
  39. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    I just can't even deal with the fact that so many schools do not even provide PENCILS...baffles my mind.
     
  40. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    I spent $60 on reading incentives this year. I am sure if I had asked parents to help pay for it, they would have. It is part of our supply list for parents to pay $12 extra for extra supplies. I try to use that for classroom items, not pizza or ice cream.

    I also spent maybe $150 on additional supplies.
     
  41. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    I'll look into that. Thank you! :)
     

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