STEINBERGER:  Give supplies to teachers, schools

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Editor’s Note:  With South Carolina’s sales tax-free holiday starting today and ending Sunday, we thought readers would find this approach recommended by a former teacher to be interesting.

By Robin Steinberger, special to Statehouse Report  |  As the tax-free weekend approaches, parents are rushing to buy the needed school supplies required by each school.


They want to save money on back-to-school purchases like clothing, school supplies, electronics and more. I taught in Charleston County middle and high schools for 30 years and spent thousands of dollars of my own money for supplies for my classroom.  Almost all teachers I know have done the same.

When a student comes to class without paper and pencil, school work is not going to get done until it is provided.  A student can become disruptive until he/she can get to work, so teachers end up providing the pencil and paper. There are several local programs in the Tri-County area for school supplies to be donated to local needy families. I suggest instead of the supplies being donated to individual families, they should be donated to schools or individual teachers.

In my experience, the donated supplies go missing after a short period of time, and the teacher is left digging into his or her own pocket.  You may ask, what about the school providing the supplies?  The schools run on very tight budgets and barely have enough money for copy paper and ink.  The solution is to give the supplies to the teacher, who will have them on-hand in the classroom when needed.

Consider contacting your local school to find out what supplies are needed.

Robin Steinberger retired after 30 years from Charleston County School District as a high school special education teacher.  She is the education reporter for Lowcountry Source.


One Comment

  1. George Graf says:

    My wife is also a retired teacher and I remember not only having to buy paper and other supplies, but we had to pay for private copier services. The schools put drastic limits on the number of copies you we allowed monthly using a personal ID code. When the limit was reached we had to go a private source.

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