Budget cuts force Winston-Salem/Forsyth County teachers to buy classroom supplies

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School teachers said preparing for orientations and open houses this week is more difficult than ever because they are spending more of their own money for teaching supplies thanks to state budget cuts and no pay raises.

Glenn High School teacher Ellen Hefner said she has spent close to $1,000 of her own money this year. Her state budget was just over $200, which didn't even cover broken lab equipment.

"From the school we get things like beakers, flasks, lab equipment but consumables, colored paper, glue sticks scissors, rulers, even things like sugar and vinegar we use for experiments, any of that we purchase on our own," said Hefner.

According to USA Today a recent Horace Mann survey showed 53 percent of school systems say they've cut supply budgets and 26 percent of teachers say they spend $400 or more of their own money for school supplies.

Glenn High School Principal Brad Craddock said thanks to budget cuts, he did not mail out student schedules this year. That saved the school $1,700, money he put back in the school supply fund.

"As a principal it does hurt when we are unable to meet the needs but all you have is that pot of money and have to divide it up and make it work. When you are trying to make sure every kid gets a chance to put their hands on that,  we do all we can," said Craddock.

While teachers like Hefner say they know they don't have to spend the money, teaching class without hands on experiments and special composition notebooks would be difficult.

"They want us to increase student achievement but the resources are not available.  I think it's an investment in their future, so I think so it's worth it," said Hefner.