Our teachers pay out of pocket

Ilana Maclay, News Editor

27th October, 2022

Paper, pencils, books, cleaning materials, and tissues.
Annually, teachers at Arcata High are given $300 to spend on things like these that they need for school, yet some teachers have to dip into their personal money for supplies that they need in their classrooms.

“It all adds up,” Laurie Griffith, an AHS teacher, explained, “pencils, paper, you know? I make cookies sometimes or I just buy little Halloween pencils or whatever for the kids, and that’s not going to get, you know, reimbursed,” Griffith continued.

There were varying opinions from teachers, staff, and students about a lack of financial support for faculty. Griffith said she didn’t feel like schools in general were supported enough.

She estimated she probably spends a little over $100 of personal money every year on supplies for school.

Jennifer Berube, the school’s librarian, believes there is money for some things, but not money for everything teachers and staff would like.

Berube said at least six or seven hundred dollars every year is spent on things for the library. Her budget has stayed the same, despite book prices rising.

“I buy books frequently when I’m out in the community looking around and see a book I think would be great for the library,” Berube said.

“I could just choose to buy it for $15 out of my own pocket at that moment, or go through a process where I have to submit a requisition purchase order,.” Berube added.
The procedure to get reimbursed is very complicated, and it’s much easier to just buy something out-of-pocket. “

Not to say the district wouldn’t pay for some of the things I pay for, it’s the process of getting it,” Berube said.

DonorsChoose is a way to help teachers. It’s a website where you can pick an educational cause and people can donate money to fund it.

Sometimes, large corporations will chip in and match funding. There are all sorts of projects on this website where people can choose where they want to donate money.
Both Griffith and Berube have used DonorsChoose as a way to fundraise for their causes.
Some students are unaware that teachers have to spend out-of-pocket money on school supplies.

Freshman Jada Lusk had no idea. “Well, now I do,” she said. “That’s crazy. That’s sad, and we should probably pay our teachers more.”

It’s not only the students that believe teachers and staff should be more substantially funded.

“We need to put importance on education. If schools and teachers were more financially supported, then there would be more of an enriched environment for the students. It would be better for everybody,” Griffth said.