Despite Cuts And School Supplies Shortage, Teachers Work To Make Due
NC Policy Watch reports on Randleman Elementary School, which has been hit hard by the massive cuts to public education over the past few years. Teachers and Principals they talked to expressed frustration at lawmakers who don't appear to understand how our school works and have no interest in learning. From their article,
It’s a job that’s increasingly difficult to accomplish when teachers have few resources to offer their students. According to the North Carolina Budget and Tax Center, state funding for textbooks has been cut by 81 percent since the 2009-10 fiscal year– down from $119 million when adjusted for inflation to around $24 million for the current school year. And as for classroom materials and instructional supplies, state funding has been cut by nearly 47 percent since FY 2009-10, down from $90.7 million when adjusted for inflation to around $50 million for the current school year.
Local schools systems have been challenged with replacing these state funding cuts with other funding sources or continuing the trend of doing more with fewer resources – and Randleman has been left with no choice but to really tighten its belt.
“Paper for copiers, supplies for lessons, extra resources for students who come to school without…all of that will be affected. We just don’t have the money,” said Sypole.
Northridge Community Church usually steps in to fill in the gaps, as is increasingly common in struggling communities around North Carolina. They contribute to a backpack program for hungry families, which sends children home on Fridays with sacks filled with food for the weekend.
Teachers still want to do more to help all of their students.
“We still want to make that creative lesson plan that makes kids come alive,” said one of Randleman’s lead teachers, Stacy Holden. “So we’re going to dig into our own pockets, or beg our own family members to help us.”
How much do teachers spend out of pocket on classroom supplies each year?
“Easily a couple thousand,” said Holden. “When you have children who come in and don’t have pencils or glue sticks or are hungry, our teachers will just…take care of that."