RALEIGH, N.C. - Parents with children in North Carolina's public schools may have gotten a shock last week when they received long lists of requested back-to-school supplies.
Teachers say that after years of double-digit cuts to state budgets for instructional supplies and textbooks, they are increasingly forced to turn to parents, churches and charities to stock their classrooms. They say they then horde the supplies, knowing they have to last all year.
In 2008, the state budgeted more than $100 million for buying new textbooks and $87 million for classroom supplies. This year's budget allocates less than $24 million for textbooks and $44 million for supplies, cuts of 77 percent and 50 percent, respectively, over the past six years.
Teachers say the cuts are having a direct impact inside classrooms and on families dealing with tighter budgets at home.
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