Teaching Profession

New Mexico Gives Every Teacher $100 for School Supplies

By Ross Brenneman — September 19, 2015 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Guest post by Ross Brenneman. This post originally appeared on the Teaching Now blog.

Every year, teachers spend hundreds of dollars of their own money on school supplies. As an attempt to mitigate a persistent problem, New Mexico’s Department of Education will present some 23,000 teachers with $100 Visa prepaid cards for use on classroom materials.

The gift card allotments stem from a push by Gov. Susana Martinez (pictured above), and money for them was included in the most recent state budget.

Only, as the Associated Press reports, at least one local teachers’ union, the Albuquerque Teachers Federation, sees the cards as a distraction lobbed out by the state:

The union isn't taking an official stance on the cards, but union leaders are encouraging teachers to send Gov. Susana Martinez a signed postcard declaring "$100 will not buy my silence" while educators protest the state's new teacher evaluation system. "Receiving this VISA card is not a 'privilege' as stated in the New Mexico Teacher's Classroom Supply Agreement; rather, it is an insult to all educators," the postcard reads. More importantly, teachers say the agreement they have to sign to get the cards puts their licenses in jeopardy if an out-of-state contractor concludes their purchases violate the agreement, union officials said.

This has been a tense week between the ATF and various levels of government; on Wednesday, they just managed to reach an accord with their district regarding teacher contracts.

As to the union’s point about teacher licenses being in jeopardy: The lengthy program rules look designed to stop any kind of fraud from happening. And according to the program rules, the more likely punishment for impropriety is disqualification from the program and a requirement to repay any unaccounted-for funds.

The program is heavy on bureaucracy, though: The card acquisition and documentation rules are pretty extensive, and while they don’t bar phone or online purchases (a dollar on Amazon often goes further than a dollar at a local brick-and-mortar shop), the process for such shopping is annoying. So yes: There’s a good deal of red tape.

At the same time: 100 bucks!

Then again: There are probably a lot of parents who would like $100 to put toward school supplies for their children, too.

Image: New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez speaks at a press conference earlier this month in Albuquerque, N.M. Credit: Russell Contreras/AP


More on funding for school supplies:


Follow Ross Brenneman on Twitter for more news and analysis of the teaching profession.
Related Tags:

A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Evaluating Equity to Drive District-Wide Action this School Year
Educational leaders are charged with ensuring all students receive equitable access to a high-quality education. Yet equity is more than an action. It is a lens through which we continuously review instructional practices and student
Content provided by BetterLesson
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Attendance Awareness Month: The Research Behind Effective Interventions
More than a year has passed since American schools were abruptly closed to halt the spread of COVID-19. Many children have been out of regular school for most, or even all, of that time. Some
Content provided by AllHere

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Teaching Profession Reported Essay Students Aren’t the Only Ones Grieving
Faced with so many losses stemming from the pandemic, what can be done to help teachers manage their own grief?
4 min read
Conceptual Illustration
Pep Montserrat for Education Week
Teaching Profession We Feel Your Grief: Remembering the 1,000 Plus Educators Who've Died of COVID-19
The heartbreaking tally of lives lost to the coronavirus continues to rise and take a steep toll on school communities.
3 min read
090321 1000 Educators Lost BS
Education Week
Teaching Profession Letter to the Editor Educators Have a Responsibility to Support the Common Good
A science teacher responds to another science teacher's hesitation to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
1 min read
Teaching Profession With Vaccine Mandates on the Rise, Some Teachers May Face Discipline
With a vaccine now fully FDA-approved, more states and districts will likely require school staff get vaccinated. The logistics are tricky.
9 min read
Grace John, who works at a school in San Lorenzo, gets a COVID-19 shot at a mobile vaccination clinic run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the state in Hayward, Calif., on Feb. 19, 2021. California will become the first state in the nation to require all teachers and school staff to get vaccinated or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing. The statewide vaccine mandate for K-12 educators comes as schools return from summer break amid growing concerns of the highly contagious delta variant.
Grace John, who works at a school in San Lorenzo, gets a COVID-19 shot at a mobile vaccination clinic in Hayward, Calif. California is among those states requiring all teachers and school staff to get vaccinated or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing.
Terry Chea/AP