Valley teachers spend hundreds of dollars on school supplies
PHOENIX — Teachers across the Valley are digging into their pockets to buy supplies for their classrooms as the new school year begins.
Heather Nieto, a high school English teacher in the Dysart Unified School District, said she has spent $387 and she’s not done spending.
“Over a typical year I spend about $1,000 to $1,500 on my classroom,” she said.
Most of the money she has spent has gone toward novels for her students and writing supplies, such as markers and paper. She said she spends the money “to make sure that all my students have what they need to be successful.”
Josh Atkins, an elementary school music teacher in the Paradise Valley Unified School District, said he has spent at least $550 mostly on furniture for his classroom.
“It’s just a lot easier to pay for it right out of my pocket instead of trying to go through the district and find an approved vendor and then wait for them to order it and then wait for it to arrive,” he said.
Other teachers have taken to social media to post similar amounts of money they’ve spent on their classrooms. Some said their school districts weren’t able to provide them supplies.
One science teacher said her district told her it had no money for new supplies “even though the Arizona science standards changed.”
Another teacher said it was the district’s responsibility to pay for supplies, adding that “no other job requires you to buy your own supplies.”
Kelley Fisher, a kindergarten teacher in the Deer Valley Unified School District, said she spent $787 for things like glue sticks, markers, copy paper, Kleenex and furniture.
“I have a very understanding husband who knows that I love what I get to do every single day and doesn’t complain too much when I spend the money,” she said. “But quite honestly, it should not be up to me to provide all those things.”
Fisher added she’s fortunate that parents who are willing to supply some things
“But at some point, it gets to be too much for them, too, especially if they have 2 or 3 children at school,” she said.