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End-of-Year Cash for Teachers

As the school year wraps up, many parents are scrambling to buy thank-you gifts for their children's teachers. One parent, who was interviewed on the Phoenix news station KSAZ Fox 10—but under a pseudonym and with his face and voice disguised—said that he feels "a lot of pressure" to make cash donations to teachers as an end-of-the-year gift, as well as for other occasions.

"There's a Christmas gift, an end-of-the-year gift, one for teacher appreciation week..." said the parent. He also mentioned that as the years go by, a larger donation is expected: "Before it's been $10 or $20, but as the kid is getting older, the money is getting to be more."

KSAZ also interviewed Marilyn Buehler, a high school teacher with the Phoenix Unified District for more than 30 years and a former Arizona Teacher of the Year. She said that good teachers do not expect gifts, and that many teachers would be "appalled" by the idea that they do.

"We are not there to collect cash from our kids," said Buehler. She added that in her case, she did receive small presents over the years, but not "a lot of competitive-type presents."

What has been your experience with end-of-year gifts? What would you say to a parent who is feeling pressured to give?

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