Teachers often use their own money for supplies. A proposed NC bill wants to change that.

Teachers everywhere often use their own money to buy classroom supplies, but a proposed bill could help change that in North Carolina.

Costs for supplies each year can sometimes exceed $500, according to Governor Roy Cooper. At a time when teachers are asking for higher pay, this bill aims to help alleviate some of the financial struggles teachers face.

The School Supplies Act of 2023, introduced this week, would allot over $82 million dollars to the Department of Public Instruction every year. If passed, it would go into effect July 1.

Several state representatives from Mecklenburg County are backing the bill, including co-sponsor Rep. Terry Brown Jr. whose parents were both teachers.

“We all know that teachers are struggling right now and we’re going through a time when we want to make sure we’re getting the right funding for our schools,” Brown told The Charlotte Observer. “This bill goes a long way to supporting our teachers and getting them the funding they need.”

Lawmakers are still working on how funding would be distributed. Brown says it would likely be split by school districts rather than teachers having to seek out the funds individually.

“This is a profession you go into because you have a real passion. I think it’s incumbent on us as legislators to make sure we’re supporting those who want to do this profession because our most valuable resource in North Carolina is our next generation. We have to make sure to invest in them properly,” Brown said.