Sources: CMS opposes NC bill that offers $400 to teachers for school supplies

Updated: Apr. 3, 2019 at 4:55 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools will be opposing legislation that would give each licensed teacher in North Carolina $400 for school supplies, sources tell WBTV.

Republican lawmakers and Superintendent Mark Johnson announced the bill Wednesday morning.

Sources say CMS is against the bill because it doesn’t include new funds. CMS leaders fear it will “actually reduce the buying power of school districts & provide teachers fewer supplies for the classroom.”

The Classroom Supplies to Teachers bill “will provide funds directly to eligible classroom teachers to purchase supplies on behalf of their schools,” according to a release highlighting the bill details.

BACKGROUND: Bill introduced that would provide $400 to NC teachers for classroom supplies

Charter and independent public schools can choose whether or not they want to participate. If so, they would need to use their available funding.

Teachers will be able to use the $400 to purchase classroom supplies through an account they will create on the ClassWallet app. If they don’t use the app, they can be reimbursed for purchases made locally, according to the release.

Johnson said that the state won’t pay to use the app. Instead, ClassWallet makes its money through the stores where they have agreements.

According to the release, the bill would ensure that every teacher has direct access to funds for buying necessary classroom supplies. The other goal of the bill is to “take advantage of the power of technology to make buying supplies for classrooms as easy as it is to buy products online.”

Any amount of the $400 that goes unused will expire a the end of the fiscal year and be sent to a general fund for the program.

If passed, the program would begin in the 2019-2020 school year.

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