Teachers and parents in Florence say they were told by school officials that their paper and pencil supplies had to stretch to the end of the semester due to tight budgets.
“I’ve kind of come to expect it,” said Chris Shaw, a seventh-grade teacher at Skyline Elementary School. “It’s not the first time this has happened. They always run out of paper and other supplies toward the end of the school year.
I don’t know if it is the district or if it’s too many things going on at once — too many new students, too many new buildings. I told everyone on my grade level to plan ahead. You don’t want to go completely overboard and be wasteful of supplies, but it shouldn’t be something we should have to penny pinch or paper pinch.”
Skyline principal Bob Meko said that when he heard the Florence Unified School District was tightening its belt on classroom supplies he thought: “It’s not going to happen — not at my school. We are not going to go without the essentials to help kids learn.
“I’m a very creative principal, and I’ll do whatever I have to do,” he said. “My teachers have all the paper they need right now. There is no need to think about it. We may not have some of the things we want, but needs are different than wants.”
Superintendent Richard Sagar said nobody has been told they couldn’t order new supplies.
“They have to be scrutinous in what they order,” he said. “People who are making those statements don’t have a clue what they are talking about.”
Besides Skyline, one of the district’s other four elementary schools seems to be feeling the pinch.
Copper Basin Elementary School principal John Schreur said, “We’re obviously in a budget crunch (and) they are asking us to prioritize very, very strongly.
“If it’s necessary for the function of the school, it’s available,” he said. “We’ve got enough supplies to get us through the year with a little belt tightening, but nothing traumatic.”
Walker Butte Elementary School principal Joel Knorr and Florence Elementary School principal Kacy Lewis said limited supplies is not an issue at their schools.
“I’ve got more than enough,” Knorr said. “We have a budget and we are able to order supplies and whatever we need. I haven’t had one teacher or parent complain about not having the resources we’ve needed.”