I hear often stated by teachers and in the media that we spend so much of our own money on our class, due to there not being enough in school budgets, etc. I would like to understand how much of this is true, and maybe it will help me to not break my own personal bank so my students have tangible activities to learn from. My own situation is that I am a brand new science teacher for 6-12th grade. I have been diving a little into personal expense to decorate my classroom how I want. I look at it as creating a pleasing environment for myself as well as inviting to the students. I have probably spent $150 on curtains, lighting, etc. My principal mentioned there is an annual science budget of $300 a year, but also a grant that I can dive into if necessary ( although he did not mention the extent of that). He said I could make a list of what is needed and they order things for me. Well, being new, I will be developing lessons as I go with probably not a lot of lead time (hoping to stay at least two weeks ahea, so ordering Play-Doh for that cool geological layering lab may not arrive in time. I could spend $5 at the dollar store instead. I can see how things are going to add up if I get this and that every week or so. I am lucky to be in a position to not be the sole earner in our household, but I know my husband will get pretty cranky if he sees a lot of $ going out the door. I am very good at deals, DIY, and finding a cheaper way. Anyway, I'm interested to see how others tackle this issue.