Tuesday, August 19, 2008

we're all feeling the pinch....

It is pretty much old news that all segments of the US population are feeling economic hardships. Well parents, as we go out and buy school supplies for the upcoming school year, please take this article into consideration. Teachers have usually been reimbursed for school supplies that they purchase for their classes, not this year, that budget has been slashed by 42%. So if you can, pick up an extra box of pencils, or hand sanitizer, or a ream of computer paper, or.......

Class in recess-ion: Teachers will need to shell out more for school supplies


Wednesday, August 13th 2008, 3:44 PM

It's a harsh math lesson for city teachers.

They will need to dig deeper into their own pockets this year to pay for necessary classroom supplies, according to an e-mail sent to educators and obtained by the Daily News.

A program that reimburses teachers for supplies and other materials was quietly slashed by 42% in this year's budget.

Teachers can now be reimbursed only $150 for what they spend on supplies like crayons and construction paper - down from $260 last year.

"It makes things a little more difficult. It's like another way of saying, 'We don't appreciate what you do,'said Charlie Flisser, a teacher at Public School 112 in the Bronx.

"To cut it back to save a couple bucks - it's disheartening."

During this year's difficult budget negotiations, the 20-year program, paid for by a City Council appropriation, was put on the chopping block.

United Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten said funding for the $20 million program was initially cut altogether, but was restored to about $13 million.

"We tried to keep as much of Teacher's Choice as possible," she said. "At the end of the day, keeping the staffing intact became the priority."

Under Teacher's Choice, educators submit receipts for materials and get a reimbursement check in December. Flisser and other teachers said the refunds are only a fraction of what they actually spend for their classrooms, but the money does help.

A 2004 City Council survey found that teachers spend an average of $400 a year on supplies, and educators suspect that figure is far higher now.

"This is money out of pocket," said Jonathan Halabi, a teacher and UFT chapter leader at the High School of American Studies at Lehman College in the Bronx. "People are going to be pretty annoyed."

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