Organization helps MNPS teachers deal with high supply costs

Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 5:58 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Every year teachers throughout the state of Tennessee are given $200 to buy supplies for their classroom, however, some are saying the stipend is not enough.

That’s where the teacher helper organization, PENCIL comes in.

While students shop for their school supplies, so do teachers, but funding for those classroom supplies has become an issue.

“A $200 supply budget does not go far when you are trying to care for a classroom of 20 plus students,” said Angie Adams CEO of PENCIL.

Sean Braidsted with Metro Nashville Schools said it has been an issue facing teachers across the state, not just in Nashville.

“Ensuring that teachers have adequate supplies is always an ongoing conversation in the state of Tennessee and in Metro Nashville Schools,” Braidsted said.

The state also gives an additional $100 for larger items, however, some teachers said that’s not enough.

“Teachers can visit our teacher resource center and get supplies for use in their classroom absolutely free,” Adams said.

She said that donations from stores and people have helped them allow teachers to shop for school supplies several times a year for free.

“Everything from backpacks, they can pass along to students, notebooks pencils and a few other things that are always changing,” Adams said.

Braidsted said that teachers can also apply for stipends and follow steps for crowdfunding opportunities, but there is a wait.

“Sometimes it takes time to get those supplies that you need because those funds don’t come through until October 31 because there is a lot of processing that goes on in the background,” Braidsted said.

District leaders say they are doing what they can to help.

“We do want to make sure that those resources are available and so if anybody has specific needs or concerns just elevate those to your school principal or the executive director,” Braidsted said.

After turning to multiple resource teachers that are still struggling, are asked to reach out to metro school’s leaders for help.

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