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Teachers lean on crowdfunding to pay for needed classroom supplies

More teachers are seeking online help as inflation has increased the price of nearly everything.
Posted at 7:52 AM, Aug 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-30 11:02:42-04

MILWAUKEE — All Milwaukee Public Schools will be back open on Sept. 6. As students return to start a new year some teachers are already facing a big test — paying for new classroom supplies.

Inflation is at a historic high and school supplies, like almost everything else, are more expensive this year. Some schools provide a budget to pay for supplies but it's common for teachers to spend their own money. In fact, teachers spent an average of $750 in 2021, according to the non-profit Adopt A Classroom.

To help offset the cost of supplies many teachers create online wishlists on websites like Amazon or Donor's Choose and often share them on Twitter using #clearthelist.

As the first day of school approaches one MPS teacher has seen a big increase in crowdfunding. "You can see a lot of frustration this year of people hoping that they would get items and they just haven't," said Megan Geddes, who teaches at Highland Community School.

She says her wish list includes educational books and games that enhance learning in the classroom, but also basic items. "Last year my kids went crazy with art and it was wonderful," explained Geddes, who has paid for supplies out of her own pocket. "But that meant that we were blowing through art supplies. And so there comes a point where you have to fill up or it doesn't happen and you don't want to stop that for the kids. So, you just fill in where you can."

If you'd like to support a classroom in your area you can search by ZIP code on Donor's Choose or look up #clearthelist to find teachers in your area on Twitter.

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