NC Teacher: Under McCrory, I'm Paying More for School Supplies

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As school gets ready to start, teachers across North Carolina are hitting the stores to stock up for their classrooms. One educator in western NC, Carla Brookshire, shares in an op-ed that thanks to the policies in Raleigh, she's paying more than ever for classroom supplies AND no longer has the sales tax holiday to help out.

From Carla's Op-Ed in the Asheville Citizen-Times:

As an English teacher as Tuscola High School in Haywood County, my first task of my school year is actually shopping for my students. Before I can prepare my classroom, before I can meet my students, before I even check my lesson plan, the first thing I do is go to the store. I buy pencils, highlighters, extra composition books, sticky notes and tissues. These are the very basic of supplies.

All in all, I spend more than $150 on that first shopping trip, just to set up a learning environment in which my students can thrive. But unlike a job in an office, a university, or a private school, I am not reimbursed for the basic supplies I need to work.

Teachers have always chipped in a few dollars to supplement their supplies. But the situation has grown desperate, as our supply budgets are woefully underfunded. Before the Great Recession, the state funded supplies in 2008-09 to the tune of $59/student. That figure is cut almost in half for this school year — $30.45/student. Teachers and parents are forced to fill a huge funding gap. Some public school parents simply cannot afford it. Teachers are forced to pick up the slack created by a legislature which refuses to fund the needed learning tools.

To make matters worse, lawmakers in Raleigh have hit parents and teachers with a school supply double-whammy. Not only have the politicians in Raleigh cut our classroom supply budgets in half, but they also end the sales tax holiday, which parents and teachers depended upon to save a few dollars with back-to-school shopping. It wasn’t always like this in North Carolina. It isn’t like this in other states. Teachers and parents in Tennessee and Georgia enjoyed a sales tax holiday last weekend. Virginia and South Carolina hold their sales tax holiday this weekend.


  1. Nancy Bulluck's avatar
    Nancy Bulluck
    | Permalink
    Thanks for sharing your experience, Carla. This adds to the evidence that is piling up that we need a big housecleaning in Raleigh.
  2. Allison Ward's avatar
    Allison Ward
    | Permalink
    Please know I will not allow this to continue, Carla. Rs are working toward nothing less than destroying public schools; each and every aspect, in turn. The only 'model' in existence state wide; yet parts such as teachers pay, TAs jobs, supplies, no tax holiday are systematically being attacked by state leaders! (serve & protect, anyone?) Aren't our children then also being attacked? Call it collateral damage..if still undecided in November.
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