As Budgets Shrink, Teachers and Classrooms Look for Help

The following is a post from our sponsor, Sonic.

Imagine a student learning how to write without a pencil or learning how to read without a book. This is the harsh reality of many classrooms around the nation. The public schools they exist within often don’t have the budgets to replenish classrooms with basic supplies such as paper and pencils on a regular basis -- let alone afford inspirational learning tools.


According to a recent study by the National School Supply and Equipment Association, public school teachers spent an estimated $3.5 billion on educational products during the 2009-10 school year. A majority of the teacher respondents indicated classroom funding has decreased at least in part due to the down economy. To make up the shortfall in their classrooms, teachers say they spend more of their own money (an average of $936 for each teacher), alter their lesson plans, and ask for more help from parents.

The growing trend of parents filling the gap left by inadequate school budgets is also evident in an article by The New York Times’ Schoolbook detailing an online survey of 400 readers in New York’s five boroughs. Many parents reported spending $1,000 or more a year on supplies and support. Routine expenses tax the resources of parents in poorer neighborhoods in particular, the article points out.

Stepping in to relieve some of the pressure on teachers and parents have been companies like SONIC Drive-In. Partnering with, SONIC works in communities across the country to put resources back into public school classrooms through its Limeades for Learning program. By November of 2012, SONIC and its franchise partners will have donated more than $2.7 million in supplies and learning materials, impacting and inspiring more than 5,000 classrooms across the country.

And that money is directed to teacher projects by the general public. Voting is underway in the latest Limeades for Learning campaign with SONIC funding more than a half million dollars toward the public school projects most voted for each week for five weeks. Want to make a difference in classrooms in your community? Vote now and every day through October 29 for your favorite teachers’ projects at

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