Deanna, I was initially asked to keep my once-a-year supply order under $3,000. This is for everything, so I try to buy one piece of equipment - like flat files etc., a year when I can. Then in a budget crunch it was lowered to $2,000. That is where it has stayed. I'm not allowed to ask the kids for any fee money. New principal now, so I don't know- I haven't tried. The high school teacher (who has fewer kids) gets about $5,000.
I can only purchase supplies in the summer, which can be challenging since I don't know the makeup of my classes at that time, and don't get to take advantage of sales, or when the kids fall in love with something and we have to stop. When we run out of something - like white paint right now - I end up buying it myself.