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'It's all for the students,' Copperas Cove teacher says of paying out of pocket for supplies

Posted at 11:45 AM, Aug 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-13 13:11:18-04

COPPERAS COVE, TX — It's well known that teachers are paying out of pocket for most of their school supplies and setting up their classroom.

Grey Zachary has budgeted around $500 to set up her classroom. Her second year teaching 6th grade, she is more prepared than last year. But it still came as a shock how much she is spending.

"I always joke that I gave Amazon my first paycheck," said Zachary.

Finding deals is essential as a teacher. Samantha Purnell, an 8th grade teacher, immediately noticed how much she could save if she bought pencils in bulk online than in small packs from the grocery store.

"I'm going to make it work because this is what I signed up to do. So if I can't afford to do something extra for my students or to get something for my classroom, I'm just going to have to find another way to do it," Purnell siad.

It's not a one time shopping trip either. Zachary surveyed her fellow co-workers and 120 teachers responded. They see themselves going back at least once a month to restock.

"They spend on average about $50, some even spending $100 a month," Zachary said.

These Copperas Cove ISD teachers always have a helping hand from the district, even parents will have their children bring in classroom school supplies.

"They have a supplies and materials closet that we can freely shop from, which helps out a lot, but I don't want to be selfish about it so I kind of have to supplement," Punell siad.

CCISD had their 5th annual Stuff The Bus event and raised over $35,000 in school supplies, which will go towards classrooms and those supply closets.

No matter the number of years a teacher has taught or the amount of money they need to spend, they never regret it for their students.

"Every teacher I talk to says the same thing, we do this because we love the kids. We want them to be successful," Zachary said.