First grade teacher Anne Milton says she's loading up on "good job" stickers, name tags and bright colored charts. "You want to make it different and more bright and vibrant for the new year," says Milton.
But buying supplies for an entire classroom is taking a chunk out of her wallet. Many teachers foot the bill for many of the decorations you see in the classroom.
"Because districts are cutting a lot on their budgets, we're not getting the supplies we usually need," says 5th grade teacher Jessica Farawell. "So we have to go out and spend a little bit extra."
Farawell recently spent $116 on her 5th grade class. "It's kind of part of the job," adds Farawell. "You have to do it if you want the kids to have supplies."
Many teachers say they're willing to spend the money. They say items that decorate the classroom or incentives like stickers and treats make the learning experience fun for students.
"It takes money to decorate and change things so you don't have to keep having the same things over and over again," says Milton.
Teachers do get some help from the Parent Teacher Association and the Board of Education. The exact amount varies with each district.
There is also a tax break for educators, but some teachers say it's more of a hassle.
"It's hard to keep track because we spend all through the year," says Milton.
But teachers like Milton say they don't mind spending part of their paycheck if what they buy can help bring the classroom to life.
Click here to learn more about the teacher's tax break.
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