Rochester Teachers Association President Adam Urbanski says each teacher in the Rochester City School District is spending between $500 and $1,000 per year on school supplies.
That amount is more than the $479 national average listed in a recent study by the National Center of Education Statistics.
“Costs have been going up but the allocation of what money teachers will have to spend on supplies for students has virtually remained static” said Urbanski.
Urbanski says the spending is necessary due to a lack of funding for newer, better supplies.
Rochester School Board Vice President Willa Powell says the money is there but it’s up to principals to make sure it gets in the right hands.
“Every school gets an allocation that the principal basically controls so the teacher who wants supplies for the classroom wouldn’t come to the board, they would go to their principal” said Powell.
Emily Mischler is a first grade teacher at Midlakes Primary School who spent 16 years in the Rochester School District.
She’s in a more rural setting now but still spends upwards of $200 per year on school supplies
“I think sometimes you just see a need and you want to meet that need immediately so you don’t want to wait for the funding and go through that whole process because it sometimes takes a while” said Mischler.