School Supplies

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At the start of the school year I happened to be in an office supply store and saw a woman buying a large stack of black and white composition notebooks.  They were on sale for a dollar each and she had at least thirty of them.  “You must be a teacher,” I said as I walked by her in the aisle.  “I can’t pass up a deal like this,” she said as she confirmed my hunch.  I have known teachers who spent their own money in order to provide construction paper and other supplies for creative projects for their classes and I asked if she were buying them out of her own pocket.  “Not yet,” she said and explained that she is given a hundred and twenty-five dollars each year for supplies.  When I left the store, I thought about that amount.  A hundred and twenty-five dollars.  Total.  For her entire class.  For the whole year.  That doesn’t include books but school was just starting and already she had just blown a quarter of it on these notebooks. With between thirty and forty students in most public school classrooms, how far can that amount go?  Not far, I suspect.  Not far at all.

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