Nicholas Aime, CFNN Editor and Reporter

For years, many North Carolina public schools have been short on supplies. Communities of low socioeconomic status have been impacted hardest. Deprived of funds, teachers have had to pay out-of-pocket to provide for students.

Most high school teachers have about 20 to 30 students in each classroom. Buying supplies such as tissues, papers, pencils, Clorox wipes and other basic necessities for students have been left to teachers for years,. Many teachers feel this shouldn’t be the case, considering that teachers have to deal with crowded classrooms and high workloads daily.

“It is alarming how much teachers spend of their own money for materials and needs of their classrooms,” said Mrs. Donna Vann, the chair of the Cumberland County Board of Education.

Luckily, the teachers have the Board of Education on their side. Every teacher in Cumberland County Schools has been administered a $300.00 stipend in order to buy necessary supplies for their classroom. 

“The decision to give each teacher $300.00 was unanimous!” said Mrs. Vann.

This may seem to be a miniscule new policy, but it is a small moment in a big movement. Protests were held in Raleigh last May as educators demanded that they be given a significant increase in wage. Thousands of teachers and supporters of education flooded the streets of our state capitol in an effort to make teacher salaries more competitive on a national scale.

“North Carolina is 46th in the nation in teacher pay. I am proud that we have so many people who care about our education system. The North Carolina School Board Association also lobbies for more funding for education,” said Mrs. Vann.

Unfortunately, while there is overwhelming support for giving teachers their due, the protests in Raleigh didn’t seem to push lawmakers to place increasing teacher wages at the forefront of their agenda. 

“I didn’t think it made a difference.” Said Amey Shook, the AP Psychology teacher at Cape Fear High School.

While there has been no increase in the wage of teachers, these stipends are a step in the right direction. Some see the stipends as an attempt to appease educators, but they have not stopped the demand for more resources.

“Well, I thought it was a nice little bonus. But I agree it was used to appease teachers,” said Shook.

It’s apparent that some schools and teachers need more funding and resources. These institutions are cultivating the future of the United States and the world. Educators have an important hand in raising our future doctors, lawyers, and politicians. 

When teachers are satisfied, and when they feel they have the supplies necessary to teach their students, everyone wins. If any public school or institution of learning in need asks for more funding, the hard truth is they may need more than just a care package.