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Thursday, May 30, 2024

New Hanover for All and NHCAE launch teacher donation drive

Two education advocacy groups are holding a donation drive this Saturday.

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — Two education advocacy groups are holding a donation drive this Saturday.

The drive will take place on April 20 at the Walmart Supercenter on Market Street, 5226 Sigmon Road. Volunteers with New Hanover for All and New Hanover County Association of Educators will be accepting material donations for all NHCS teachers from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cleaning supplies, including Lysol wipes and spray, paper towels, and hand sanitizer, are especially in demand, the announcement noted.

The organizations said they were prompted by NHCS’ recent announcement “canceling any purchases of supplies and equipment for the remainder of the school year.”

On April 8, Chief Finance Officer Ashley Sutton told pincipals, directors and senior leadership that for the remainder of the school year, reimbursements will stop for out-of-county and in-county travel; exceptions include staff positions split between schools, previously approved field trips, and athletics.

If not already approved with a purchase order, staff development and the purchase of supplies and equipment are also canceled. The district will also decline to approve new service contracts.

At the school board meeting the following day, Sutton clarified that her team normally cuts of new spending at a certain point as the district closes on another year. In light of the $20 million budget shortfall the district faces for next year, Sutton decided to implement this earlier this year to deter staff from spending unnecessarily.

The CFO also said principals could fill out an emergency funding form if needed.

In their supply drive announcement, New Hanover for All and NHCAE said “these cuts put pressure on many classroom teachers whose supplies are running low at the end of the school year.”

“The spending restrictions, this late in the school year, have an immediate and serious effect on classrooms across the county,” Ashly Spannbauer, New Hanover for All Lead Organizer, said in a press release. “Members decided to do something quickly to support teachers in New Hanover County. We see these cuts as precursors to the bigger problems that will occur if the county does not fully fund all student facing positions.”


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