Teachers in Florida receive just under 200 dollars a year for class room supplies.
For Art Teacher David Worrell, the 180 dollars was a drop in the bucket compared to what he actually spent. “Probably spent between 1,500 and 2,000 dollars.”
From the trays of colored pencils to the reams of paper and glue on the shelves, just about every supply in his classroom was purchased from his take home salary. Why does he do that? “Because I love teaching and I want my students to have what I feel they need to have to have a good experience in the classroom.”
Across the state, it is the norm, not the exception that teachers are digging into their own pocket.
Having to pay for their own supplies has been a decade long complaint for Florida teachers but that could be changing if Governor Rick Scott gets his way.
“If you talk to our teachers what they want is to be respected”.
The Governor has traveled the state speaking to teachers, parents, administrators, and union officials. He will unveil his education agenda, titled College and Career First on Thursday. Part of the plan is to provide teachers with debit cards for classroom supplies. “I want to put a certain amount of money into debit cards for our teachers to they don’t have to be out of pocket.”
Boosting classroom supplies spending to 500 per teacher would cost the state an additional 58 million dollars a year.
Teachers say they would welcome the freedom of a debit card because the process of applying for classroom supply vouchers can often be difficult. The Governor says he is hoping to partner with private companies to provide supplies and support to teachers.