A piece in The Shreveport Times describes the challenges that elementary school teachers are facing with back-to-school expenses. In Caddo Parish Schools in Louisiana, the stipends that teachers usually put toward supplies were recently halved to $100 per educator.
Orlisa Johnson, a teacher at Pinegrove Elementary, spent more than $250 of her own money last year on classroom supplies and estimates that it costs around $500 in out-of-pocket expenses for new teachers to stock their classrooms. "You know there's going to be an out-of-pocket cost. If you want to be a great teacher you'll spend the money," said Johnson, though she also added that's there only so much a teacher is able to spend.
When determining what the parents should contribute to their children's supplies, Johnson told the paper that she tries to keep it "simple" and work with what they have. "It doesn't have to be Crayola brand crayons. Generic crayons should work just fine," she said.
The paper also highlighted the National Retail Federation's prediction that K-12 back-to-school spending this fall will reach $30.3 billion, with the average parent spending $688 on their children. That's up from $603 from last year.