August marks the beginning of a new school year and Tennessee schoolteachers are facing a financial crisis in the classroom.
With components such as COVID and inflation, schoolteachers are reaching into their own pockets to pay for school supplies for their students and classrooms.
We asked Kendra Young, if, under these circumstances, she believes teachers are ready to back to school.
"In short answer, no, they are not," she says.
"If you were to walk into any classroom, and see it before a teacher walks into it, what you would see would be a teacher's desk, a teacher's chair, student desks and student chairs. That's it," says Young.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices for educational books and supplies are 4.28% higher in 2022 versus 2020 which is a $4.28 difference in value.
Teacher, Kristin Rokitowski, tells us she wants students to feel “comfortable in the classrooms.”
"Everything is so much more expensive now. If I've had to buy stuff on my own, I definitely look for the cheapest version possible, where I'm going to multiple different stores to figure that part out," they say.
With educational supplies experiencing an average inflation rate of 2.12% per year, essential classroom items such as binders, pencils, and markers are skyrocketing.
So, what is the solution to this classroom crisis?
"Hashtag clear the list is a wonderful thing that our community kind of steps together to help our local teachers out," says Young.
#CLEARTHELIST was started by a movement of people on social media asking for donations for their Amazon Wishlist to check off essential classroom items before school starts.
"There's a lot of, you know, negative connotation with teachers asking for supplies," says Kristin Rokitowski
"I think this just adds, you know, extra for us so that we can, you know, save money because, you know, teachers are not paid what we should be, she says."
Kendra Young says she hopes teachers who are having to scramble for materials through opportunities like #clearthelist, reach out to the local county commissioners and encourage them to give funding to our teachers to help clear their Amazon lists for the school year.