Bill seeks to help N.C. teachers with school supply costs

If ultimately passed, it would go into effect before the beginning of the new school year.
Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 7:30 AM EDT|Updated: Mar. 30, 2023 at 7:32 AM EDT
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WBTV) – A bill has been introduced that seeks to help North Carolina’s teachers’ wallets when it comes to school supply costs.

There are several things children use in the classroom every day that their teachers buy out of pocket.

Related: Teachers, parents face pricey school supplies

According to the North Carolina Governor’s Office, teachers in the state spend on average more than $500 a year of their own money on school supplies for their classrooms.

Now, 13 state representatives, including three from Mecklenburg County, are backing a bill to give the state’s Department of Public Instruction more than $82.3 million annually to help with purchasing classroom supplies for teachers statewide.

While this could be a big help for educators if passed, in the meantime many still have to turn to other resources.

For Charlotte-area teachers, some can turn to places like Classroom Central, which helps provide free supplies.

A spokesperson with the organization said in August of last school year this isn’t something that just affects teachers; one in two local students show up to school empty-handed when it comes to supplies.

While Classroom Central tries to fulfill the need, it can’t help all educators. Teachers can only get in on the free supplies if over half of their students qualify for free or reduced school lunches.

The school supplies bill has only just been proposed and it has a long way to go before it can actually save N.C. teachers some money.

It is on the House’s calendar to be discussed on Thursday. If ultimately passed, it would go into effect before the beginning of the new school year.

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this web story identified the organization as Classroom Connection. The appropriate name is Classroom Central. Additionally, the spokesperson previously spoke with WBTV in August of last school year, as opposed to recently.