CARTER COUNTY, Tenn (WJHL) — Parents of kindergarten through eighth-grade students in Carter County schools will have one less thing to worry about this back-to-school season.
The Carter County Board of Education allocated $163,000 from their fund balance to pay for all of their school supplies. The plan is to reimburse that money with pandemic emergency education ESSER funding through the CARES act.
“I don’t know that that will be an option in the future but if it’s an option today, we need to take advantage of it,” said Tony Garland, chairman of the Carter County BOE.
It is meant to be a financial relief to parents after a tough year thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“If you’ve got two or three students, that can be a bit of a financial burden and the board is wanting to ease that for parents,” said Director of Schools Dr. Tracy McAbee.
The BOE voted unanimously in June to cover the cost of each classroom’s school supply list so families can use that money to purchase other necessities.
All kids will need to come with on the first day of school is their backpack.
“People in the area are struggling a little bit and this is just one way that we could potentially help out,” said Garland.
The move is meant to help teachers too.
“I know each year I personally spend $400 to $500 on extra supplies for my classroom. You always get new students throughout the year that come in with no school supplies. So most teachers prepare ahead of time. I am very grateful that our system has decided to do this,” said Carter County Commissioner and Hampton Elementary first grade teacher Kelly Collins.
“Hopefully this helps those teachers not to be having that financial burden too to help a few of their students,” said McAbee.
Carter County students go back to school on Aug. 4.