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Lesson Plans

Re: low budget art class

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Nalin (nalin)
Wed, 17 Jan 1996 19:52:37 +0000

Sometimes I think we (art teachers) make it easy for administrators to give
us small budgets. If you can supply so much of the needed materials and
have great art products "why do you need more?" or worse if they're not so
great, then the administrator can say, "oh well, we really didn't spend too
much on this".

I have had low budgets in the past and always had to fight the system to
get more. One good thing that site-based management brings is a forum to
state your needs. On two occassions, I have brought to the attention of
the faculty the reality of my budget and had it increased. The last time I
needed to do this (my budget had been cut) I listed the supplies that each
child received for the allotted per student rate. I itemized paper, paint,
number of crayons, amounts of clay, etc. and the faculty was shocked to
learn that I had only 10 sheets of paper and a third bottle of paint, for
each child. They are accoustommed to have almost unlimited supplies and
never realize that it was not the same for the art classes.

I also show the lose of buying power over the 10 years I have worked at
this school by comparing essential supplies from 1986 to 1994. It showed a
lose of 43% not to mention the below quality materials that are purchased
by the warehouse at the same or lower cost as those in 1986. Consequently,
some of the projects (mainly using paper products) result in poor effects,
not the fault of the students. Even I had trouble doing the tasks I needed

The bottom line is I have the largest budget ($1500 for 600 students) in
the district. Others used this information to also secure more funds. It
can pay to be pro-active.

>I can sympathize w/ your budget problem, as I teach
>6-8th middle school art on a budget of $250 a yr.
>I have found that many supplies can be readily
>donated if you know where to ask. I get daycares to
>save baby food jars, the local paper donates
>newsprint, scrap wood from lumber yards, tile and
>wallpaper books from paint/interior design stores, &
>fabric samples from interior design stores.
> The museums in our area also give slide packets
>with lesson ideas to teachers who request them.

Lorena Nalin
Elementary Art Specialist
Tucson, AZ