(Nixa, Mo.) School will be back in session within the next week that means thousands of teachers statewide are busy preparing their classrooms.
Parents might be getting sticker shock when they see the list of required school supplies for their child's school, but chances are, teachers are looking at even bigger bills for their classrooms.
"It’s a passion. You know people in fashion spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on fabrics and wardrobes and to me it’s my classroom,' explains Sarah Mancusi, Second Grade Teacher, ESPY Elementary School.
Every year second grade teacher Mancusi dips into her teacher salary and spends her own money to buy bulletin boards, pencils, paper, and tissues for her students.
"It’s where they’re going to be more engaged because they are more comfortable and they feel safe in the environment. So spending that extra money is well worth it."
According to a U.S. Department of Education survey, more than 94% of teachers nationwide are spending $500 a year on classroom supplies they weren't reimbursed for.
"Lots and lots of construction paper, extra markers, extra pencils, plastics supply things you know kids bring in so much we’ve got to have somewhere to store it."
Colorful calendars, fun fabric, and even seasonal erasers are all things you often seen in a elementary classroom. They are also things many educators like Kara Jennin, Kindergarten teacher, ESPY Elementary, are probably paying for with their own money.
"I’ve already spent around $200. I still have some flexible seating that I would like to implement into my classroom which will be a pretty hefty price cause those things don’t come cheap. I’ve purchased lots of organization materials," adds Jennings.
She says educators pick up the check because it's necessary.
"Some of them don’t always come from homes that could offer that to them and if they can be excited about being here and having the things that they have without a worry, I think it’s an excellent thing I can provide for them."
To help elevate teacher spending the Nixa school district has provided educators with supplies.