For the first time in 7 years, the proposed education budget could increase funds for teacher supplies

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - The state education budget is well on its way to a vote this week.  Among the proposals are increases focused on the classroom - like the first increase to the teacher supplies budget in seven years.

It's a big deal for teachers, who often spend hundreds of dollars out-of-pocket for their classroom on small things, like crayons, pencils, and glue sticks.

"Whatever the classroom needs, I'll just get it," said Kimberly Massey, a Kindergarten teacher at Jones Valley Elementary School. "You just have to do it."

While $300 may sound like a lot to some, Massey and her fellow teachers say it doesn't amount to much when divided by 20 students over the course of a school year.

It also doesn't help that the state funds don't usually arrive until two months after classes begin.

“The money doesn't usually come in until the end of September, when we come back in school in the beginning of August now," said Kristen Jackson, a First Grade teacher at JVES. "That’s where you see a lot of our money spent.”

Jackson estimates she spends around $250 a year in the classroom, in addition to the funds donated and raised by the PTA.

"Not all schools have that unfortunately, not all schools have that luxury we have here," said Jackson.

The proposed education budget offers a $3 million increase for classroom supplies. It works out to approximately $60 more per teacher, per year.

It's the first budget increase for teacher supplies in seven years.

The proposed education budget would also provide an increase for textbooks, professional development, library enhancements, and technology

The House is expected to vote on the education budget this Thursday.