FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - Families aren't alone in shelling out big bucks for school supplies this year. Teachers are digging deep into their own pockets to stock their classrooms.
Teachers are flocking to local supply stores like Fort Wayne's United Arts and Education, preparing for their students' return. But funding those trips is a tough situation for many teachers this year.
While some schools provide teachers with funds to buy supplies, we spoke with several who say the majority of the money they're spending is coming out of their own pockets.
It's yet another challenge for teachers as school systems continue to struggle financially.
Teachers say it's a summer long process - buying supplies and decorating their classrooms.
In the past, they say schools have given them the cash to purchase the necessary supplies. Parent organizations have also donated funds over the years. Even then, most went above and beyond that budget, spending their own money.
In a world where budget slashing is the norm for schools, more of the cost burden is often being put on the teachers.
Jennifer McDunnough is a Building Instructional Coach with FWCS. She was at the supply store putting together goodie bags for many of her colleagues who are going through stressful transitions, some in new positions, as they begin a year filled with uncertainties.
"With the economy the way it is, there's not a lot of extra money. So teachers find that it might not be the pencils, crayons, and markers, but things in order to provide the instruction, and books for students to read and containers to put those things in - there's not a lot of money for those types of things," says McDunnough.
McDunnough suggests more community programs or funding on the state and federal levels to help off-set the costs for teachers.
"They might be having their own family financial challenges themselves, so it is difficult, but they see the necessity so I've seen many teachers make sacrifices for their students to make sure that their classrooms have what they need."
No matter what, teachers say they have to spend money on supplies to provide quality education for their students and to continue doing their job well.
One teacher we spoke with says he and his wife save up over the year. Another says she spreads her purchases out over the summer.
Teachers may want more cash from their schools, but most seem to have accepted this as part of the job description.
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