update: my boss wanted to go over my personal budget

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Remember last week’s letter from a teacher whose boss wanted to go over her personal budget to spot places she could cut in order to buy classroom supplies with her own money? Here’s the update.

I just left a faculty meeting and thought I’d give an update with some discoveries made. Earlier, when my boss was being weird about the supply budget, I talked to someone I knew at the district office who explained that each school did indeed have a budget for classroom supplies to be distributed how each school thought best. So … I emailed my principal asking about that and my friend at the district office apparently asked his superior and apparently another new teacher in the building said something to the district before I even wrote to you. I even like to imagine someone somewhere read the blog. 

There was some back and forth, but the result of the faculty meeting was a notice that we do have funds for classroom supplies beyond the big stuff.

To give further background, this was the result of a long school culture tradition. Many of the teachers in the building have been there forever, and it seems once upon a time it was deemed easier to just buy stuff and receipts were failed to be turned in, eventually evolving into a mindset where supply funds were saved for very big things and teachers covered the rest. With the veteran teachers who were making more, yes, teachers were spending several thousands dollars each year not just on the usual supplies but all sorts of stuff, though the mileage did indeed vary from teacher to teacher.

So, it ended well. We were reminded we were more than welcome to turn in receipts or place orders for the basics and that no one should feel pressured to pay out of pocket. The principal even apologized if she made it seem that way, but the above was what she had been told as “the school’s way” from the prior administration.

Thank you all for your very supportive moral outrage and suggestions.

update: my boss wanted to go over my personal budget was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

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