It didn't take long for the economic climate in the district to shift. Whether it was due to rising retirement burdens on local districts, property tax issues, lower enrollment, or in this year's case, complete lack of a state budget, the years of free, surplus office supplies didn't last long. Eventually we were told to keep our ordering within a specific number...and then told only to order things in case of an emergency. As of last year, there are no office supplies ordered. We simply have to live on what we have. Thankfully for me (and many other teachers), this really isn't a huge problem because we have already built up a surplus of supplies for just this situation. For the past few years, I've just taken from the supply surplus to fill the gaps. The district has done the same by not refilling jobs, but using subs and division of class schedules to make do with less. Of course, this situation is only sustainable for so long.
I wasn't planning on writing about this today, but when I arrived at work, I found out a faculty meeting had been cancelled because ten teachers had called off (for a variety of reasons) and the administration needed the morning to figure out how to fill the gaps. Six years ago, this would be a matter of drawing on the sub pool, but that surplus dried up a few years ago. Now, once the one or two subs in the building are used, it's a matter of getting teachers, principals, guidance counselors...anyone in the classrooms just to make sure the students are supervised. The district is making due with less, but there's only so much "less" it can take before the surplus is completely gone.
Again, there are a half-dozen reasons for the budget changes, and nearly all the issues are beyond the control of the school or even the district supervisors. Nevertheless, eventually the surplus will be completely gone. Hopefully by then we'll have the ability to order again.