Tom Farber gives a lot of tests. He’s a calculus teacher, after all.
So when administrators at Rancho Bernardo, his suburban San Diego high school, announced the district was cutting spending on supplies by nearly a third, Farber had a problem. At 3 cents a page, his tests would cost more than $500 a year. His copying budget: $316. But he wanted to give students enough practice for the big tests they’ll face in the spring, such as the Advanced Placement exam.
“Tough times call for tough actions,” he says. So he started selling ads on his test papers: $10 for a quiz, $20 for a chapter test, $30 for a semester final.
This is a wee bit concerning. I don’t necessarily blame the teacher. If our government wasn’t so fucked up, they’d be financially supporting schools. Most of the messages on the test, the article reports, were actually inspirational messages from parents, which is kind of cool. But if this trend continues… or rather, if this becomes a trend… eek.
The article also reports, “The National Education Association says teachers spend about $430 out of their pockets each year for school supplies.” This seems pretty accurate from my experience. I don’t know how much I spent on folders, books for my classroom bookshelf, and other supplies when I taught 8th grade. I should have kept track for tax purposes, but I’m a poor data collector when it comes to money.