Monday, July 18, 2011

How much classroom $$$ do YOU start out with every year?

So I just talked to our school secretary who informed me that we might get $0 for our classroom budgets this year.  We normally get $180, so this is a huge chance!  And they haven't really even got the word out yet.
I've been so excited about going to target and picking up those fantastic book boxes for only $2.50 apiece....

This makes me really sad because we don't have the money to dump into my classroom right now.  My husband is working two minimum wage jobs and trying to find something full time.  We have a lovely mountain of debt from our school loans and car notes.

In my district, we usually have "textbook" fees of $65 per student, and I guess that is where we got our startup money from.  Our new county director of schools isn't a big fan of fees (I get that- I don't see how they started charging fees in a public school system in the first place!).  However, I think there should be some money in the budget somewhere for teachers to run a classroom!!!!!

How much money do you get at the beginning of the year?
 Leave a comment that tells what area you are from and your startup budget that is provided + how much you spend out of pocket.


Mrs. Owens

We don't get any money at the beginning of the year! Everything that is bought for my classroom is purchased by me. I decided this year that I wasn't buying any school supplies. I buy so much and they don't get respected and it's a waste.

Go Fourth! With Mrs. Owens


We don't get any start up money from our school either. HOWEVER, our wonderful PTO gives each teacher $100. I still feel very fortunate though, my school has what we call a production room. We can get paper, construction paper, glue, markers, tape, paint...well, you name it and we can get it in there! So, anything that I buy myself is something that I personally want and may not necessarily "need" :-) Honestly, I am scared to keep track of how much I spend on what I "want!"
Live Love Laugh Everyday In Kindergarten

Sandy Pence

We usually only get 50$ which is barely enough for paper supplies! I am curious to see if we will still get it this year!

Angela Wageman

I'm in Washington. We usually get $100 per classroom...haven't heard yet this year. I know the budget is a nightmare this year. I usually spend several hundred of my own dollars over the year. I've been trying to do that less and's not easy though!
Angela Just Love Teaching!


I'm in upstate south carolina...we get $250 this year (last year nothing/budget cuts...and $275 before that) and our PTA give us $150. Im feeling blessed after reading your posts...but I still spend PLENTY of my own...I've been saving receipts for the year for tax season, but I'm scared for my husband to see them!!! I'm not buying supplies either...except for stuff I want to match (purple poetry folder) because you KNOW it does not matter how specific one is, someone will come with a Star Wars Lego folder instead of a green one!

Mrs. Morris

Mesquite, Texas - We got $90. I probably spend around $400-$500 over the course of the year.

Simply 2nd Resources

Vintage Teacher

Last year we got $300 but we had to buy everything out of it and it all had to bought from School Speciality which is expensive. I think a box of staples is around three dollars. When I say everything I mean everything, even copy paper, toner, pencil sharpeners, etc. The district expects us to provide all school supplies, pencils, paper, etc. for every student and get what we need for that $300.

I am not buying this year like I have in the past out of my own money. I say that and I just ordered a bunch of things from Mailbox that have been in my shopping cart there. I think I got 17 Mailbox books for $34 with free shipping today. lol Well, I am not buying as much as I have in the past. Of course, Mardels is having their Edcuation sale on Thursday. lol I probably spend $500 to $600 annually out of my money in the past. I am not going to do it this year, I can't afford it and it is not appreciated when I do.


We don't get any start up money. Last year I got $50 from our awesome PTO but that wasn't until November and we just had a PTO "credit" so we had to submit receipts and wait to be reimbursed.


I teach in a small town in Kansas - our room budget last year was $350 - construction paper comes out of that budget - however, we do NOT have to buy paper for the copier - yet. This year, we get $175 last I heard. PTO usually gives us $50 at Christmas time and we have a local thrift store that usually donates $100 to our Kdgn and First grade classes each year. Each year we have a "bid list" from a local education cooperative where I usually buy my basic classroom supplies at a big discount. As a teacher, you learn how to get the most for your money. :o) Guess I'm pretty lucky uh? I spend MEGA bucks of my own money on school stuff. Things I pick up at the Dollar Tree or Target I usually pay for myself.

laughinbrunette (Jennifer)

I am in Alabama...we used to get teacher allocation money, but it was reduced by half until about three years ago when it was reduced to $0. So basically, we get no money, so it is all me, baby...A LOT! lol It has gotten so bad in our state that when I received my National Board the state promised to give $5000 bonus each year (for 10 years) Well, the last has been chipped away to maybe $3000 this year (before taxes)...not that I am complaining (which I guess I am technically) but it bothers me that they can just take it away even though it is money I have relied on for the past 7 years =( SO...there you go. What I spend in a year? In years' past I have spent maybe $1000...not really able to do that anymore...but I spend what I can =)


We get $250 at the end of the school year to spend on supplies for the following year. I get a lot of things from our District Warehouse, which has supplies marked down a good bit. At the beginning of the year we usually get some money from the state and PTO. I know we won't be getting money from PTO this year, but I'm not sure about the state.

Alysia Battista
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alysia Battista

I teach in NJ, the land of overtaxation, overpricing, and overspending... (Your average one bedroom apartment is at least $1000/month plus utilities.) I've taught in 4 different districts and have been RIFed several times, meaning budgets were tight. My first school gave us $60 but the supplies technically belonged to the school and had to be ordered from specific catalogs, which took forever to arrive. My second and third schools did not give us any money, while the fourth gave me $1500 - but that was to teach 300 kids science lab. I know another school in the district gave their science teacher double that!

Miss B, Busy Bee

Mrs. Magee

I'm in Western Kentucky and I get $150 at the beginning of the year.


I live in Michigan and we get $0 a year. Nothing. My school is lucky because we have a partnership with a church that donates a ton of school supplies (crayons, pencils, paper, folders, etc) but if I want anything specific, it comes out of my pocket. I teach in a very high poverty area so some families literally can't even afford to buy pencils.

I taught 5th last year and as the year was ending and I was getting my class ready for middle school, I must've told them at least 200 times to go to Walmart at the start of the year so they could buy supplies because notebooks are under a quarter and folders are usually about 10 cents. (They go from getting EVERYTHING supplied in elementary to NOTHING in middle school.)


Thanks for all the comments- ya'll are great! :) I will definitely be saving up my receipts too!

Jennifer- We get $0 for our National Board Certification... which makes me really sad because I want to do it so bad!

Our state also signed up for Obama's Race To The Top... I'm wondering where all the funds went on that one. I know they don't go far when you spread them out, but it would still be nice to at least hear how that money is being spent.


I am in TX and have taught for six years and I have NEVER EVER gotten any money. I spend a ton at the beginning of the year. Last year I bought about $200 for school supplies so my classroom kids can have supplies. I just spent money at Toys R Us to get some supplies but I am scaling back this year.


Fort Worth, Texas---we get *nada* from the district/state. But our principal/PTO usually give a little if they can, it just depends.
I'm sure I spent at least $500 last year out of my own pocket.


When I taught in FL we used to get $100.00 and I never felt it was enough. The district I am currently in doesn't give us anything upfront but we are reimbursed up to $225.00. So I always take $225.00 from one of my paychecks and stash it away for August.

Ms. M
Ms.M's Blog
A Teacher's Plan

laughinbrunette (Jennifer)

Hi again~ =) As for National Board...I admit I have been lucky in that my state (when times were good) gave me a scholarship, classroom bonus, and then the yearly pay bonus. Very lucky up to this point. But...I still do encourage you to do it, regardless of the lack of benefits financially..if you can swing it and want to do it- there are things you will learn that cannot be replaced or was a process that allowed me to grow, reflect, and become a better teacher. Even if you can't do it should file it away to maybe do it in the future if you can =)


I teach in southwest Minnesota and we get $400 a year on supplies. There are 3 first grade teachers and we pool our money together and order construction paper, work books (handwriting without tears and sitton spelling), writing paper, folders, markers, dry erase markers, tissues, glue, the time we finish getting a central supply for first grade...we are out of $$$. When I started 7 years ago, each teacher was given $1200! It was amazing!!! Anyway, it looks like I should be glad that we get our supplies purchased for us...but I wish there was a little bit more.


I teach in AZ in a very low-income district and school (85% free and reduced last I saw). Last year my school was able to give our grade level $300 total. This year we're not getting anything. However, my district has a warehouse filled with most general school supplies (construction paper, copy paper, crayons, etc) that sends a supply to each school throughout the year that we can get from the copy room whenever we need it, plus our secretary sends an order about every 2-3 weeks, so we can send a personal order if we need it (as long as we don't go crazy! :))

As for how much I personally spend, I'm kinda always scared to know! :) I normally spend around $300-$500 throughout the year, getting those thing I want for work stations, activities, etc. I have a bad feeling this year will be on the high end! :)


I teach in a rural community in Alabama and for the past 4 years we have received $00 dollars for our classrooms. We are still expected to purchase things like ink for our printers and paper for our copies. It is tough. Especially when my husband also teaches so out of our budget comes the needs for our classroom. We have several parents who have helped us our but many of them are not able to help. I am worried about how things will work out this year as we are loosing so many classroom units. I love my job and my kids but lately Alabama teachers have been made to feel like the enemy of the state. However I am so appreciative of our PTO who helps us out they are wonderful and so are the parents who can help.


I teach in a very poor urban community in Central Virginia. I've been there for 3 years now (starting my 4th) and we never receive any money at the beginning of the year. My first year we were able to put in requisitions - thank you stimulus money! But last year we were asked to put in a requisition at the end of the year - when we got back in September we had nothing. Then in December we were asked to make another request - again nothing... we were told that there was no more money :( When we left in June we once again had to submit a requisition... I am not holding my breath. Unfortunetly, we are not allowed to ask for supplies from our parents - therefore everything comes out of my own pocket!!! Last year I easily spent $500 on beginning of school supplies for my classroom and students. This year I had already spent close to $150. This doesn't include what I spend to replenish supplies throughout the year and buying other things that I need. I easily spend about $600 per year or more. Too bad I can only write off $250 :-(


I teach in Gilbert, Arizona. We don't get any money to start the school year. We do however have a district warehouse. We are given a budget, this year $60, to purchase items with. While they do have the necessary school supplies, they do not have all of the "fun" extras. I still find that I spend around $100 at the beginning of each school year.


My school gives us 100.00 at the end of the year to spend on supplies for the following year (construction paper, staples, tape, etc). We also get 75.00 from the parent committee that is reimbursed to use throughout the year, but mine is usually gone the first week of school. I probably spend 400.00-500.00 of my own money throughout the year on various classroom items (Target, Dollar Tree, etc) or project needs.
I enjoyed reading everyone's comments!

Mrs. A

Our school does not give us any money at the beginning of the year. However, our PTA accepts teacher requests in the fall up to about $50 which is very nice of them to do because they don't have to. Sometime in the spring, we usually get $50 from our school. Last year it was $100 though and I felt like a queen! :)

Smarter Than a Fourth Grader

oh' boy

I teach in San Antonio, Texas and I get nada, zero, goose egg as far as $ goes. BUT my school has a supply closet that we can request supplies from. It is stocked with all the basic classroom needs. My former 3rd grade team and the Kinder team joined forces and held a school carnival where we charged small amounts of $ (quarter to dollar) for the food and games. Most of the food was donated and the prizes for the games were also donated or bought from oriental trading. We (3rd grade) made over $800 and Kinder made more... all of our grade levels and specials were invited to participate. We turned the money into the secretary and she keeps "grade level accounts" for us and we use that $ to purchase other supplies.
out of pocket I spend...gosh probably close to $500- $700.
We also keep a prelit christmas tree in the office and keep it decorated SUPER CUTE according to the season/holiday and on it we can hang little hang tags with our classroom wishes on it. There is a poster that explains our giving tree and the parents can take a tag off and purchase the "wish" and return it under the tree with the TAG taped to it!!! We just started that last year and I got lots of wishes granted... just an idea for the rest of you nada, zero , goose egg teachers :)

Post a Comment

Leave some magic words