NJ teachers need your help getting their rooms ready for ’21 -’22


You might not like spending money every year on school supplies for your child. But imagine doing it for 19 students.

Yasmin Gonzalez, a first year teacher at Lakewood, is grateful for the funds allocated to her each year by the district to acquire classroom supplies and bulletin board resources.

But she has already had to use her own money this summer to buy crayons and crayons before the September 9 start date. And now she has an active Amazon Wish List so that her friends and family can help her afford prizes that will reward her students for their good behavior.

“They love Pop Its, they love hectic spinners and they love to work for something,” Gonzalez said at New Jersey 101.5. “If you have a vision, sometimes you have to go into your own pocket to make it happen.”

The wishlist also includes dry erase markers and whiteboard cleaner.

Gonzalez isn’t the only teacher who has made her needs public through online platforms – it’s a regular event every year before Labor Day weekend in New Jersey.

Several New Jersey-based listings are active on the Donors Choose site, created by teachers to research everything from multiple copies of the same book to certain seating options for students.

“It’s often said that teachers are the only professionals who steal office supplies from home to take them to work,” said Steve Baker, director of communications for the New Jersey Education Association. “Certainly we are advocating for the districts to provide more of these supplies.”

According to the union, educators in public schools spend hundreds of their own dollars on supplies on average each year.

In many districts, according to the New Jersey School Boards Association, teachers request specific items from school administrators, with a set amount they can “spend,” and then the supplies are provided to the teacher.

It is common, according to the association, for teachers to spend some of their own money on supplies. Teachers can take advantage of the education expense deduction available on federal income tax returns, the association said.

Contact reporter Dino Flammia at [email protected]

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