Not allowed to require materials

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by Peregrin5, Aug 21, 2014.

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  1. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    So apparently, on any supply list that we give to students, even an expected materials list, we have to put on this huge block paragraph of text that starts off with: "Please note that you or your students is not required to purchase, donate, or contribute any of the requested items on the school supply list," in huge bolded text on top of the entire list.

    Then it has to be signed by the principal. Not only is this annoying because I've already run my syllabi and supply lists, but I already have problems with funding materials for my classroom and students not bringing in notebooks or binders. I basically only 'require' a binder, a composition book, and writing utensils, and yes I keep extras for those who can't afford it, but that's only a few students a year.

    I'm having a nightmare where having read this giant text first thing at the beginning of a supply list, parents are going to assume that I am responsible for providing any and all of the materials for class for all of my students (about 200 students), meanwhile we don't get any funding to pay for any of this.

    Does this happen in your state?
     
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  3. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Here is the full text: Legal Note (AB 1575): “Please note that you or your student is not required to purchase, donate, or contribute any of the requested items on the school supply list. Additionally, no student will be denied from participating in any classroom activity if he or she chooses not to purchase, donate, or contribute any requested item(s). However, if you voluntarily decide to purchase, donate or contribute any item in any quantity of the requested supplies and provide them to your student’s teacher(s), the supplies will be shared equally among all the students in class in order for each student to participate in the planned, fun, academic activities.”
     
  4. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    We are not allowed to require anything from our students as well. We are only able to have a "wish list".
     
  5. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Even for our wishlist we have to copy and paste that block of text.
     
  6. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    This seems to be getting more common. I don't think the teacher should be providing materials unless the school is giving them funds to purchase them. Less and less responsibility is being put on the parents I guess as time goes on.
     
  7. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    We aren't allowed to request materials or ask for any money.
     
  8. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    That's crazy to me. I don't understand how the classroom is supposed to function if kids don't have, at the very least, notebooks and pencils. How can parents have zero financial responsibility towards their child's education? To me, that just reinforces the notion that parents are absolved from responsibility towards their child's education are the responsibility lies fully on the shoulders of the school and teacher.
     
  9. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Well, they give free breakfast and free lunch. Why not free school supplies. Heck, maybe they'll be asking for free dinner and school clothes soon so parents don't have to do anything for their own kids.
     
  10. nyteacher29

    nyteacher29 Comrade

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    we require supplies and our parents are awesome at getting us what we need. if my school did that, id accept no supplies and then hound my ap for supplies for students to learn. How can you share supplies when there are non? I would NOT be buying the extra supplies i normally buy for certain students if that note went out.
     
  11. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    That's really a shame you have this policy. It's really ridiculous to expect ANY parent to buy supplies even for their own kids if, like the passage says, those supplies will be shared evenly amongst the others. That's nuts! Do you have a union? Or at least a contract that says you are financially responsible for your students' supplies?
     
  12. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    We cannot request anything "non-academic". We can't require anything.
     
  13. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    OP, this is not uncommon. Like everything else, it is what it is.
     
  14. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    yep, not surprised. I suspect we will have to do something similar in the future.
     
  15. BumbleB

    BumbleB Habitué

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    That is about the dumbest "policy" I've ever heard. If I intended on buying supplies for my child, I would say forget it because the supplies I'm spending my money on won't even be used by my child.

    So punish the teachers by forcing them to buy 200 binders, notebooks and pens. Punish the parents who want to buy supplies for their kids by forcing them to "donate" to the entire class.

    I'm sorry you all have to deal with this. That's completely insane.
     
  16. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Our district provides everything imaginable: crayons, colored pencils, dry erase markers, paper, pencils, erasers, etc.

    As a teacher, the only thing I would highly recommend (in person, not in writing) was a backpack since we provide everything else.
     
  17. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    If a parent can't afford supplies (and I'm all for keeping it to like $20 or less), then they shouldn't really have children.... Maybe that's wrong of me to say but their job is to support their children's learning. It gets me when I see kids with designer clothes or shoes (or enter any kind of technology) but a parent can't provide a pencil and notebook.
     
  18. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    At my old school, we couldn't require anything, but we didn't have to state that, either.
     
  19. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    I totally get that there will always be special circumstances such as a parent losing a job and that $20 could be better spent. I saw in the newspaper last year they had a school supply drive where people donated backpacks full of school supplies (I think an organization collected money and bought the supplies) and they were given to "needy" students. I'm not sure how it was determined if the student was needy or not. That seemed like a good program because the community was helping out and NOT burdening the teachers.
     
  20. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    Have you asked your principal how the school supplements the supplies? I wouldn't assume you have to buy them. The school most likely gets government funds that are allocated toward student supplies.

    We get a certain amount of money for supplies every year. I spend mine on student supplies like notebooks, paper, pencils, glue sticks, highlighters, etc.
     
  21. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    It seems like this would make sense, right?

    In the new state / district where I am working, we have to put a similar disclaimer saying that the school provides all necessary materials and bringing supplies is optional. This is erroneous. I put in a supply request list to the school, and received about 1/6 of the supplies that I asked for, with the explanation that they can share. I know a group of 6 kids can share 1 pair of scissors and and a bottle of glue, but then everything takes 6x as long since the supplies have to rotate around. It is a huge loss of instructional time.
     
  22. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    At my old school I couldn't require anything. We didn't have such a blatant message to parents, but we had to use the phrasing "We suggest you provide..." and list 3-4 items, max. We had 100% free lunch and free uniforms, so our parents truly couldn't afford the supplies. Them again, teachers were better paid there because it wasa Title 1 school.

    Fast forward to my new school, where I received so many suppliesy cabinets are jam packed and I'm thinking about donating the extras... It all depends on where you work. Your school is not likely to change policies from year to year. If you really don't like it, work somewhere else next year. I don't mean that to sound harsh, but that's the choice many of us make when we disagree with administration.
     
  23. BumbleB

    BumbleB Habitué

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    Ditto. Unfortunately I see it frequently working in a low-income school.
     
  24. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    It's not admin. It's state law that parents aren't technically 'required' to provide materials. I don't mind that, because like I said, I will give students materials if they ask me for them or they can't afford them.

    While it has been the law for a while, our District, in order to avoid any legal recourse has forced us to add that, because apparently there is literally a person who goes through EVERYONE's (in the state) syllabi, and papers, and checks to see that that paragraph is on there. >_<
     
  25. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    We get very few funds, because we're not Title 1 and we're not wealthy. It's usually like $50 to $100 for the entire year. Also any money we do get, we don't generally get until months after school starts (October) because that's when we know our budgets.
     
  26. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Supply lists are very common are here, and almost every child brings the required supplies. I don't think my state has a requirement like this.
     
  27. ecteach

    ecteach Groupie

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    Times are really tough for a lot of people. I think we all need to step back and think about that for a second. People are overwhelmed. They aren't stupid. They understand that if it's on your list, they are supposed to have it. I don't believe any parent would let their child go without if they could get financially afford the item(s). This is probably to make the child feel better when they see the list on the table and realize they won't be bringing a dang thing on the list to school when they show up.
     
  28. TeacherNY

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  29. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I would love to believe in the ideal that parents who can will, regardless of the message, but I don't know if I have that much faith at the moment. We'll see how it goes by next week.

    By the way, the supplies for my class would cost a student a grand total of $2-3 dollars for the entire year. (Binder $1 [and can be used for other classes], Compo Book 50 cents, pencils -almost free in many cases-)
     
  30. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Binder for $1? Where can you get a binder for $1 that is large enough for more than one class and will hold up all year? I NEED to know.

    Composition book $.50? Only if you happen to catch a sale or buy in bulk. Pencils almost free in many cases? Really? I'm certainly not shopping in the right places. Please tell me more!
     
  31. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    I know there are parents who are fundamentally against getting school supplies in my neighborhood. The reason most of the parents are against it in my neighborhood is not as much because of money, but the lists were abused in many ways. What parents in my community found out was that each year the list grew with items that were not necessary for educating students but "like to have" items. Also the school grouped lists by grades. Parents said there were many things on the lists that their students never, ever used. Some years the items were returned. Some years not. They complain they are tired of buying what their child doesn't use or need. They were tired of things sent home coming home at the end of the year with 5 pages used out of a 70 page notebook.
     
  32. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    These are the current prices at my local Walmart. Using the binder for multiple classes might be hard unless you only keep the most current unit (1 inch binder), but it's $1.00. And all composition books are 50 cents. Spiral notebooks are 25 cents. 20 pencils are 49 cents.
     
  33. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    So, you don't send your kid to school without pencils and paper and expect the teacher to buy it. Great parenting.
     
  34. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Those are pretty good prices but what if the teacher had 30 students and was expected to buy it all. That is my beef. Nobody thinks about that when they refuse to buy their kid the supplies.
     
  35. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    Abso-freaking-lutely! I was just responding to the disbelief that a student's required supplies could cost under $3.00. There's no way I'd be willing to shell out that money for all my students.
     
  36. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    The children in my district receive free breakfast across the board and, in most cases, free lunch. My school works with a local church to get students free backpacks and winter coats. The teachers nominate a student in need from each class and they are given a "secret santa." Teachers spend $20 out of pocket to get each of these students a gift during the holidays. My district provides weekly free English classes to parents (in the hope that the parents will be able to assist in the learning of their children). About once every other month we have a literacy night where student families come and are given pizza, treats, and free crafts while teachers read to kids and talk to parents about literacy. Students in the instrumental music program and loaned free instruments to take home and keep throughout the school year so they can learn their instrument with no out-of-pocket expensive for the parent. Many teachers reach into their own pockets for students in need. I personally bought a pair of shoes for a student who was coming to school with holes in the one pair that she had. Her mother, by the way, had an iphone while I still had a flip phone, but I guess that's of no consequence. We have school plays where the teachers purchase or sew costumes for the students rather than ask the parents to contribute one dime or ounce of effort.

    So, I'm sorry if I can't see how it's too much to ask parents to buy a few pencils and notebooks. One subject notebooks have been on sale at my grocery store all summer for 20 cents. There is a limit of 5 so I spend $1 every time I shop and get 5. I have 30 of them in my basement. Pencils are $1 for a box of 20.

    I don't think it's a lot to ask for parents to buy supplies for their own children. At some point, parents need to be responsible for their own children even if it means buying them a few pencils and notebooks so they can have an education. It most certainly should not be on the teacher to buy these things for other people's children. It also should not be up to the school to decide whether to allocate funds towards supplies for several hundred kids or continue having a part-time parapro (for example) employed. As a parent, I would sacrifice a whole lot so that I had a few dollars left over for school supplies.
     
  37. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Dollar tree for binders. 50 cents for compo books at Staples and Target. I even list the stores and prices on my supply list.
     
  38. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Yeah. I realize supply lists can be abused. I've separated my list into required materials, things that would be nice to have handy but not necessary, and things that we appreciate if you donate them. These are all clearly labeled.
     
  39. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Even with parents generally sending in the entire supply list I send home, I still end up spending close to $500 a year on my classroom. I understand if somebody legitimately does not have the money, but I have absolutely no patience or understanding for somebody who just decides not to buy school supplies. Fortunately, I've yet to run into that situation.
     
  40. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I have 200 students...:unsure:
     
  41. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    yep, this is truth.
     
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