It is the duty of the state to provide schools with adequate resources so they may, in turn, provide their students with the basic supplies needed to foster academic success. Unfortunately, in Arizona and in many states that do not provide adequate resources to schools, members of the school community are burdened with this responsibility.
Districts in Arizona say the state does not provide them with enough money to cover the cost of things like paper, facial tissues, and dry-erase markers. Arizona’s failure to provide the basic supplies for schools results from its inadequate educational funding and places a financial strain on parents and teachers.
Despite the fact that Arizona law requires that public schools provide supplies required for academic success, parents in many schools in Arizona are asked by teachers to buy supplies for the classroom. This is not only a displaced responsibility from the state to parents, but it also can cause a financial burden for the families of the 600,000 students in Arizona that qualify for free or reduced lunches (an indicator of students’ financial disadvantage).
Teachers in Arizona — like most teachers throughout the nation — are also using their resources to cover the cost. The U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics found 94 per cent of teachers spent their own money on supplies in 2014. Those teachers spent an average of nearly $500 without reimbursements, according to the report.
Read more about the consequences of inadequate funding for Arizona’s public schools.