Online Originals: The cost of school supplies

Online Originals

School is almost back in session and school supplies are lining the shelves at retail stores.

But, parents and students aren’t the only ones spending their money on the supplies.

A recent study by the National Center for Education Statistics shows that 94% of public school teachers spend their own money on school supplies for their classrooms.

“I would say at least a couple hundred dollars,” said Stephanie Cox, a third-grade teacher at Creekside Elementary in Winterville.

The average amount spent by each teacher is four hundred eighty dollars per year.

“Everything just kind of accumulates after a while,” said Cox.

She says despite a small stipend at the beginning of the year, she still shells out a big chunk of cash.

“It’s definitely frustrating because that’s what we feel like we need to have our classroom run effectively,” said Cox. “We are given a certain amount of funds every year but it’s just not sufficient enough to cover everything we need.”

According to Cox, teachers can only deduct up to $200 a year on taxes, and that includes any school-related expense.

Cox says the assigned school supplies list for her classroom can run about 30-40 dollars per child, but she personally pays another 30-40 dollars per child for supplies, not on the list.

“This year I bought a lot of books, I buy labels, laminating pouches. I buy organizational supplies such as bins to put their notebooks in,” said Cox.

She also buys tape, magnets, and supplies to make bulletin boards for her students.

Donations from friends and family can be the saving grace for teachers.

“A lot of teachers have been posting an amazon wishlist. I was really fortunate that a lot of my family and friends have sent me some things otherwise I would have spent two to three hundred dollars,” said Cox.

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