Teachers Take on School Supplies Cost

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- This year’s back to school spending could add up to well over $26 billion.  Students aren't the only ones stocking up for the first day of school.

Teachers have a back to school checklist of their own.  Many end up paying out of pocket to get their classrooms ready for the first day of school.

The Iowa State Education Association says on average, teachers will spend $500 of their own money.

“It is a large expense.  It's one of those things that has become greater as the years have gone on for our folks, but it's something that they do because they know it's important for kids,” said Iowa State Education Association President Tammy Wawro.

Nikole Eichelberger is about to start her first year teaching second grade in Washington, Iowa.   The Central College grad made the trip to Des Moines to stock up on classroom supplies at the Learning Post. “It's not easy, but I feel like I want my students to have the best stuff and if it requires me digging into my own pocket, I'll do that,” said Eichelberger.

Parent teacher organizations can help offset some of those costs.  Wawro says the amount varies from district to district and even school to school.

Some retailers offer discounts to teachers. Here's a list of discounts offered by some:

  • Apple
    Save up to $200 on a new Mac, and up to $30 on a new iPad. Education pricing is available to college students, students accepted to college, parents buying for college students, faculty, homeschool teachers, and staff at all grade levels.
  • Banana Republic
    15% off for teachers on full priced purchases.
  • Barnes and Noble
    With the B&N Educator Program save 20% off the publisher's list price on all purchases for classroom use.
  • Container Store
    The store offers educators special discounts throughout the year. You will need to complete an online form to get your first offer, redeemable in-store, online or by phone. Program ends December 31, 2014.
  • Half Price Books
    Educator's Discount Card available to save 10% all year round. Apply online.
  • Joann
    Sign up for the Teacher Rewards Discount Card and receive 15% off.
  • Lane Bryant
    Through 8/10/14 all teachers who show an ID can get 30% off your entire in-store purchase at Lane Bryant.
  • The Limited
    Students, educators, and military personnel receive 15% off every purchase made at any The Limited store location - just show your school or military I.D.
  • Michael's
    Teachers get a 15% off. Some exclusions apply, check with the store for details.
  • Office Depot
    The free Office Depot Star Teacher Program offers educators a number of special discounts and rewards. In addition to 10% in rewards points on select purchases, members also have exclusive access to special events and sales throughout the year.
  • Office Max
    There is a MaxPerks Rewards program specifically for teachers. Earn a $10 reward in your MaxPerks account every time you spend a minimum of $75 on qualified purchases between January 1st through December 31st - up to $100 per calendar year.
  • Staples
    5% back in rewards, Free shipping on staples.com, extra 5% back in rewards on teaching and art supplies.
  • Walmart
    Teachers will receive a Walmart eGift card for 10% back on nearly 15,000 products.
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