I see the original poster of this problem is from California. I may be misinformed, but I think your state and local districts don't budget for art classes as a general rule. Here in New Jersey, we have art budgets.Art is a core curriculum standard in New Jersey, so each student must be exposed to an art experience with a "qualified" educator. Some years are lean, others are good, depending on how the public votes for the school budget. Our budgets are directly tied to property taxes and voting for school budgets. That said, my school district is very generous and understands that most of our supplies are what are considered "consummables". We aren't given a "per student" allowance, but a figure, and must order within that amount. As a department, we take the amount of money and divide it up among ourselves, figuring out if one person teaches ceramics they order the clay, and if someone else teaches painting, then they order the paint, etc. When I was teacher leader I would give each teacher a certain amount
(which was even less that what I was told), so that they would order within that amount, and then we would have a little left over for department big ticket items. There is no "petty cash" expenditures during the year, so you have to order everything in February for the following September, blindly, as you do not know what classes you have or how many students will be in the classes. The reason we order in February is that the Business Administrator of our district must prepare an overall budget to be submitted to the Board of Education for approval, to be offered to the public for their vote and approval.
(Another thing is that the catalogues have one price and the price that is bid on is a totally different price-we order online directly from the catalogue and get the correct bid price, so we have been getting more for our money. In the past, with another administration, we were ordering with the higher prices, getting less, and the district "kept the discount", which they undoubtedly moved to another account, to be used by another department.)
So, if your superintendent plans to have a conversation with you, and starts talking per student pricing. Ask him/her this question: What does $10 buy today?