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Teachers expect out-of-pocket classroom costs to spike this year

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Posted at 10:15 PM, Jul 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-18 23:21:08-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Teachers who plan to buy items for their classrooms expect to spend a lot more for the 2022-2023 school year.

Sara Thornton teaches eighth-grade students at Lexington Traditional Magnet School. She's excited to see the kids, but not to see the bill for all her classroom supplies.

"It's pretty difficult, getting ready for the school year, because most of it comes out of our own pocket, this year being specifically more difficult because inflation is hitting classrooms hard, just like it is every else. All supplies are up, like, a dollar. I see, like, 80 kids a day, so think, times 80," Thornton said.

"I've put a lot of diverse, culturally-diverse books in because I want each student from my homeroom to take a book home to keep on day one. Also, things like snacks for the classroom. Students come in hungry. They don't always get fed meals outside of school. Then, just your basic pencils, paper, markers, crayons, scissors, all of the above."

That's where the community comes in. In recent years, Sara and other teachers have started using Amazon wish lists to help soften the financial blow of supply costs. This year, they're really going to need help.

"We're looking at $1,500 to $2,000 if you want to truly get supplies for all of your students," Thornton said. "People around the community are usually very generous. Families and friends usually step up to the plate to help our youth, which we greatly appreciate."

Thornton said the challenges of being a teacher have never scared her. She says she'll do whatever she has to do to serve her students.

"Their parents are trusting us with their lives and they deserve the best when they come through our doors. That's what we want to give them to make sure they have everything, every resource to be as successful as we know they can be," she said.

Thornton said she encourages everyone to reach out to their own teacher friends to see how they can help in their communities.