Earlier this month, Republican lawmakers and the state’s top educator proposed new legislation to help teachers buy classroom supplies. 

The proposed legislation would give licensed teachers $400 to pay for the necessary materials. 

Lauren Piner is a social studies teacher at South Central High School. Like most teachers, Piner’s love for education goes beyond the classroom and into her wallet. 

“I have spent more than $570,” said Piner. “I bought 45 books so that I could have two class sets for my students.” 

Piner isn’t doing this because she has to, but; because her goal is to see her students succeed. 

“Teachers want to make sure our students have everything they need,” said Piner. “Sometimes, students don’t have the money to pay for supplies.” 

The bill that would give teachers $400 strictly for materials comes with a lot of pushback. 

Both current and prospective educators say the legislation is a great step but not enough moving forward. 

Isaiah Ybarra is a teacher intern at South Central High School. 

“With this new bill, there’s going to be vendors and a middle man which would take a great chunk of that $400 dollars,” said Ybarra. 

Dr. Ethan Lenker is the superintendent with Pitt County Schools and says there are more options to look into. 

“Supplement the money as opposed to just planting the money,” said Dr. Lenker. “It shouldn’t be you take the money from one side and allocate it to another area.” 

Dr. Lenker says the bill needs a lot of restuctering. 

“I’m not sure where the information is coming from,” said Dr. Lenker. “State lawmakers should look at the data and find a solution of how more than $40 million dollars is being misspent.” 

Each year, Pitt County Schools has an allotment for school supplies. 

Pitt County Schools State Instructional Allotment totals and Local Supplies FundsState Instructional Allotment         $721,065

Local Instructional Allotment         $688,888

Copier Allotment                           $381,401

Local Media Allotment                  $101,650

Local Office Supplies Allotment    $  70,104

Total Local supplies funds          $1,242,043

Note: In Pitt County, these funds are distributed directly to schools.

Pitt County staff believe local education administrators know what’s best for their school district.