Bill Would Give Tennessee Teachers $500 Annually for Classroom Supplies

Joey Hensley and Scott Cepicky
by Jon Styf


A Tennessee bill would allow every public school teacher in the state to have $500 to spend on classroom supplies.

The bill would be an adjustment on the $200 initially stipulated for each teacher’s use in the new Tennessee Investment in Student Achievement funding formula, set to begin in the 2023-24 school year.

Companion Senate Bill 24 from Sen. Joey Hensley, R-Hohenwald, and House Bill 7 by Rep. Scott Cepicky, R-Culleoka, would require the funds be given to each K-12 teacher at a public school or public charter school by Oct. 31 of each school year.

The funds from taxpayers must be used for classroom instructional supplies and any funds not used will be pooled at each school to be used for supplies for teachers. The pooled funds also can’t be used for building capital needs or improvements.

“The purpose of these funds is to permit purchase of items of equipment for the benefit and enhancement of the instructional program,” the bill states. “The funds cannot be used for basic building needs such as HVAC, carpets, furniture, items or equipment for the teachers’ lounge, or the like.”

The $500 would have to come from the funds that each school is set to receive under TISA and would not be a separate state appropriation.

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Jon Styf is an award-winning editor and reporter who has worked in Illinois, Texas, Wisconsin, Florida and Michigan in local newsrooms over the past 20 years, working for Shaw Media, Hearst and several other companies. Styf is a reporter for The Center Square. 
Photo “Scott Cepicky” by State Representative Scott Cepicky. Photo “Joey Hensley” by Joey Hensley. Background Photo “Teacher and Students in Classroom” by Kenny Eliason.




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6 Thoughts to “Bill Would Give Tennessee Teachers $500 Annually for Classroom Supplies”

  1. JRin

    I wonder if there’s a provision in the Bill that mandates receipts for every penny spent?

    1. Joe Blow

      Of course there will be not a requirement for proof of permitted items. Besides a school can justify about anything from chalk to condoms these days.

    2. Cannoneertwo

      Maybe we should also require receipts for every penny our legislators want reimbursed for their trip to Las Vegas last month. Haven’t heard about that, have you?

  2. Molly

    This is crazy, inviting more fraud, waste & abuse
    It should be a reimbursement ONLY.
    Up to $300.00
    All this bill does is throw more tax$$$cash out the window
    Also each and every school district must cooperate with an itemized audit
    The cost of this should be covered by each districts budget
    Seems to me every education employee was paid in full throughout the great Wuhan Flu scam, and still owe Tennesseans for that charade
    Oh yeah, tell the unethical socialist unions to shut their pie hole,

  3. Joe Blow

    What a terrible increase in ta money going down the rathole called public education.

  4. Randy

    For the already bloated half billion dollar budge Knox County Schools are responsible for I would hope they spend the money wisely. A common refrain from the academic world is teachers have to spend their own money to buy supplies. This false narrative is one more reason a dull and complete audit of education expenditures should be at the top of tour legislators list.