Hey Teach, Classroom Low on Supplies? Take Out a Personal Loan!

The classroom supply closet is nearly empty and so are your pockets. Well, if you’re a K-12 school teacher, don’t worry, your credit union has your back — in the shape of a personal loan.

That’s right, credit unions across the country are targeting teachers with classroom supply loans, Mother Jones reports.

In a time where school budgets are tight, more teachers are taking on the burden of paying for classroom supplies. Mother Jones estimates teachers already spend $1.6 billion out-of-pocket for school supplies.

In what supposedly lessens the burden, credit unions are now offering low-interest, short-term loans for teachers.

The loans start as low as 0.0% APR and go up from there. Most have limited the terms to 12 months and up to $1,000.

And the credit unions aren’t holding back any punches when it comes to appealing to teachers’ need to provide for students.

“We pick up where the school district leaves off,” The Gulf Coast Educators Federal Credit Union says on their website. “We offer a one-year loan up to $1,000 that we hope will help teachers afford the task of creating a teaching environment that meets their exceptional standards.”

They’re not the only ones touting these type of personal loans. Nerd Scholar published a list of credit unions and their loan terms.

There will always be a need for erasers, pencils and other school supplies, but is taking out a personal loan really necessary? We want to know what you think:

Credit Union Offers Teachers Personal Loans for Classroom Supplies [Mother Jones]

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  1. theoriginalcatastrophegirl says:

    i don’t have a kid and i don’t know any local parents or teachers. but every year when i see the classroom supply lists up at target (so parents know what to buy their kids) i wish there was a donation program right in the store.
    kind of like the grocery store has prepacked food bags that you can buy for the food bank, i’d buy school supplies for the local schools. it’s self interest – some day those kids will be in charge when i am old and powerless. i’d like them to be well educated

    • MarthaGaill says:

      The mother of one my friends is the counsellor at an elementary school and the district’s head grief counselor, so she goes from school to school as needed. What I like to do is buy a ton of supplies when they’re on sale or on clearance (I once found 64 packs of Crayola color pencils for $.25 each. I bought every box on hand.) and deliver them to her to distribute as the need arises.

      I just keep an eye out after the school year starts. Sometimes you can even find backpacks for just a few dollars at sporting goods stores. I know Academy Sports will go down to $2.88 in some cases on their bags and backpacks.

  2. furiousd says:

    For how much money is reported as being slated for education (the Department of Education has a reported budget of nearly $70 billion for 2013) and based on 2010 numbers there are ~55.2million students in public schools (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_the_United_States, K-12). That comes to $1268 spent federally per student in public education, understanding that not every dollar is a direct benefit to the student. According to , the actual average expense per student was about $10,600 per student.

    I’m not a fan of common core, nor do I understand the purpose of having a federal education authority with such a large budget. Based on the numbers I’ve presented, it seems a small percentage of the money invested in students comes from federal funds (which were acquired from citizens in the various states to begin with), and I recall from my time in public schools (1991-2002) that a lot of expenses were picked up directly by my family with respect to school supplies.

    I wonder how much of a problem this would be if the federal structure and mandates were done away with (I welcome replies indicating things the Dept of Ed has done to benefit the country as I am admittedly unfamiliar with any examples) and the states were to handle things locally rather than introducing an unnecessary layer of bureaucracy. Common Core adds a lot of expense in dollars at the expense of quality education according to these two students:

    I went to the same high school they did, Farragut High which was known as the best in the county school system but which I didn’t care for due to the mandates of No Child Left Behind which I encountered. Luckily thanks to some help from a few teachers, administrators, and some correspondence courses at a nearby University I was able to graduate and begin college courses at the same University at age 16 rather than be kept in to help the school’s numbers to look better to federal regulators.

    My story and experience is not the norm, but I do feel safe saying that a student can be educated for much less than it costs under the current system and that if nothing else we can agree that teachers are paid too little for how important their jobs are and that asking them to bear the burden of a loan for classroom supplies is a good indicator that there’s something wrong.

    • furiousd says:

      Found another article indicating the lack of correlation of spending in the US to expected result. http://rossieronline.usc.edu/u-s-education-versus-the-world-infographic/

    • PhillyDom says:

      Funny how your suggestion seems to be one political party’s favorite solution to a problem nobody can define, and has been ever since the federal government took up a role in education.

      If it weren’t for federal education standards, some school districts would have none at all.

      Education is expensive, and trying to do it on the cheap doesn’t help anybody.

      It’s a disgrace that teachers have to shoulder a burden created by the unwillingness of taxpayers to fully support the schools.

  3. SuperSpeedBump says:

    I saw this a lot as an IT Contractor at a school district. Teachers couldn’t get budgeting for Microscopes in High School Science, but the district had no problem outfitting the Kindergarteners with 30 iPads. In fact, anything technology related was given a free pass… no budgeting required. Books! Oh, those need to be budgeted and approved, for next year.

    Yeah, I saw a lot of teachers spending their own money to teach the curriculum.

  4. Alecto67 says:

    I have 2 kids in school now and a good 95% of their school supply list are community items for the class to share. We had to label a pencil box, a folder, and a couple of other small items. Everything else – scissors, crayons, pens, pencils, paper, notebooks, more folders, glue, dry erase markers, tissues, antibacterial wipes, and so on all get shared among the class. Anytime they are running short, the teacher sends a note home for donations of the needed items. For my son’s school, he even gets extra credit when he brings in things that are needed.