Early budget discussions for the 2020-21 school year reveal several possible changes for New Bloomfield schools: new teachers, salary increases and school supplies for all.
In addition to possible salary increases to the certified and non-certified staff salary bases, the New Bloomfield R-3 Board of Education heard from Superintendent Sarah Wisdom during its Thursday meeting about the possibility of the district buying school supplies for every student.
“This next piece has been kind of a lofty goal for me, but I think we can do it,” Wisdom said.
Wisdom explained how as a parent, she found that every year her children would bring home school supplies she knew would be on the list of required supplies again the next year.
“After school’s out, you know, they bring their scissors home; and scissors are always on the school supplies lists. And it seems like teachers, they run out of certain things some years, and then other times they’ll have 10 boxes of baggies left,” she said.
Under Wisdom’s plan, the district would provide ordinary school supplies such as paper, pencils, scissors and erasers. Other items, such as backpacks and lunchboxes, would still be the responsibility of parents.
“That way I think we can limit any waste,” Wisdom said. “And I think that, you know, for not much money, we can take that off the backs of our parents as well.”
As opposed to families buying a new set of supplies every year, the district would purchase a classroom set to be reused year after year, with replacements purchased as needed.
The plan sparked positive responses from the board, with members discussing potential funding sources, including grants and donations from the community.
“That would also eliminate, you know, some kids have all the supplies and some kids don’t, or certain ones have nicer supplies and certain ones don’t,” board President Terri Sweeten said.