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Teachers Talk About How Much They Spend Out of Pocket for Supplies

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Tax-free weekend has passed, and more than just parents and kids were out taking advantage of the slight savings. Teachers also have to pay out of pocket to stock their classrooms with all of the supplies they need to make it through the school year.

“This was my third trip this week. I bought Sharpies, colored pencils, highlighters and markers. This is my 12th year…It costs teachers, easily, $300 to $400 a year,” Houston area high school government and economics teacher Robert Blain told KHOU.

Teachers are able to receive a tax deduction from up to $250 of supplies as long as they keep their receipts. But for many educators, that’s only a drop in the bucket. When KHOU asked teachers on Facebook how much they spent on their classrooms, many said they spend anywhere from $500 – $1000 a year.

Parents aren’t exactly thrilled by how much they need to spend for school supplies either. KSAT reports that one San Antonio area elementary school required that parents buy $200 worth of supplies for each child. Others averaged about $100, which of course, isn’t including clothing.

“Being a government teacher and an economics teacher, eventually something has to give,” Blain told KHOU. “Districts have to make cuts somewhere, because the last thing they want to cut is the boots on the ground.”