Teachers are taking advantage of Florida’s back-to-school sales tax holiday

Back To School

TAMPA BAY AREA (WFLA) — It’s not just parents shopping for school supplies; it’s also the teachers as well.

8 On Your Side hears that teachers spend their own money on supplies for their classroom, every single year and their shopping list differs, depending on the grade and school.

School districts do plan for school supplies in their budget, but teachers say that money only goes so far. Many teachers choose to spend money out of their own pockets to purchase items for their rooms that are not on the supply list.

They say they know what works for their classroom and what it takes for their students to be successful.

“When you get class sizes getting bigger and bigger every year, you need more things. That’s why we are very thoughtful about what we put on those school supply lists and they are things that we need,” said New River Elementary teacher Colleen Giorgetti.

Teachers have also started turning to crowd-sourcing websites, like DonorsChoose, to help fund projects for their classrooms as well.

Aimee Ensign is a 2nd grade teacher at New River Elementary in Wesley Chapel, and she had a project funded on DonorsChoose to help get her students moving while they learn.

“I’m looking for stability balls and wobble stools because you have those kids who can’t sit and they need to move. They learn better when they are bouncing, standing or walking around,” said Aimee Ensign.

It might seem like school supply lists are large, but teachers say they carefully create the list, making sure everything on the list has a purpose for the upcoming year.

“So it’s not just ‘Oh, let’s have them buy tons of stuff and create a wishlist in addition to what they have to have.’ Everything that is on that list we use, in addition to whatever else we buy as teachers,” added Ensign.

This week marks the first week for teachers across several districts in the Bay area, next week is when thousands of kids will return for the new school year.

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