Students aren’t the only ones getting ready to go back to school. Teachers preparing for the new school year also need to stock up on classroom supplies … and it’s likely to cost them.
“I wish I knew how much I typically spent, but so much falls under the category of ‘school supplies’ that goes beyond pens and notebooks,” Carrie Higgins, a second-grade teacher in North Carolina, says. “Food for lessons, bins for organizing, art supplies, books … you name it, we had to pay for it, out of pocket.”
Higgins estimates that ultimately she spends $200-$300 on supplies each school year. However, depending on a school district, costs can come in much higher than that. A survey by the National Education Association show that teachers spend an average of $1,200 of their own money every school year on supplies such as paper clips, construction paper, markers, crayons, staplers and scissors. And, with many states cutting school budgets to alleviate cash flow problems, that figure isn’t likely to head south anytime soon.
In an attempt to help teachers save a few dollars, MainStreet has rounded up some educator-specific deals and discounts available on classroom supplies.
Office Depot (Stock Quote: ODP) offers several programs of which educators can take advantage. The company’s Star Teacher Program, in general, offers 10% back in “rewards” on ink, toner and paper, plus 1% back in “rewards” on almost everything else. Rewards are paid quarterly in the form of an Office Depot Reward Card. The actual dollar amount of the card will vary depending on how much and how often you visit the store. The good news is, you can never max out on reward points. Check here for more specific details on how you earn rewards.