MCPS Teachers Spend Own Money Equipping Their Classrooms

During the previous school year, teacher Katherine Cassidy “easily spent $2,000” on supplies for her second grade classroom.

Although she has been a teacher for 26 years -24 of which have been with Montgomery County Public Schools – last year she moved to second grade and had to buy lots of new classroom supplies.

This year, she expects to spend considerably less of her own money, but probably still hundreds of dollars.

Last year, the teacher at Wheaton Woods Elementary School in Rockville purchased books, supplemental resources for teachers, tissues, soap and lots of items for her learning centers including containers and zip lock bags.

“Just about every teacher I know spends some amount of money on their classroom,” she said. They are not reimbursed at all by MCPS, she said.

Recently, some teachers have taken to Facebook seeking donations and including wish lists on Amazon. A new Facebook group called MCPS, MD: Adopt-a-teacher already has 2,900 members. Teachers post a little bit about themselves and list what they would love donated to their classroom.

Many of these donations are made anonymously, and the teachers reply with a photo of what they received and a big thank you. Here is what one MCPS teacher recently received.

May be an image of toy

When asked if she would be requesting donations from her students’ parents, Cassidy replied, “I teach at a Title 1 school. It’s a high poverty school so asking the parents is not an option.”

Still, she said, she will continue purchasing supplies as necessary. “My kids need it, so it just kind of is what it is.” Her kids would suffer if she didn’t, the Clarksburg resident said, adding, “Second grade is my favorite grade, because they are still little, but they become independent.”

This year, the Internal Revenue Service allows educators to deduct up to $300 of any unreimbursed expenses for classroom materials, such as books, supplies, computers including related software and services or other equipment used in the classroom. Previously, the reimbursement rate was $250.

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