On behalf of your principal, I can see why it is sometimes hard to
define. I get $2500 for 60 students/day, but...
Remember a principal can dip into several types of funds. Although we
have a budget I can explain to him what I am doing (they need pictures,
examples, etc. Often ideas from this group help illustrate my point!)
and he always finds room to support it. Just be sure you are doing the
best program you can and press on. Advocate and promote and do your
very best. Of course, if he is not going to limit you you cannot be
held responsible for going over.
By the way, once when (through a math error) my art funds appeared to
be spent by September, I asked him, do you want an art program or not?
He found funds somewhere to get me through the year. I honestly don't
know where he dips into...parent teacher organization, donations, ???
Sometimes I don't want to know. I just want to do my job.
I have a liason with a local framing business that saves their scrap
for me. Also a sign making company. They both call me for pickup when
they have a few boxes for me. What a blessing. My funds go a lot
further because of them. The framers, in particular, are doing archival
work of the highest quality and give me assorted matboard and other
surfaces that are often made of linen, rag or other delightful
elements. I highly recommend making a few new liasons if you are not
getting the quality donations you need.
Either Kroger or Target gives our MS students cameras (disposable) and
development for free once each year.
My favorite aspect of my department is the 6 foot corn sculpture we
acquired and got to paint by being involved in a public art project in
our community last year. This art was free to us simply by being
Your question is good but also remember the numbers just don't always
reflect what we have. I have had many pleasant surprises.