As students across the province prepare to return to the classroom, some local teachers are joining a viral online campaign to help them raise money for supplies.
The concept is simple. Teachers go to Amazon, create a wish list of things they need, then share it on social media using #ClearTheList in hopes others will donate the items.
The president of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union said the last time they surveyed members about this 10 years ago, teachers were spending $500 to $700 each of their own money on supplies, and that number has likely gone up a lot in the last decade.
"We have one of the worst minimum wages in the country. We have the worst rate of child poverty in Canada and the problems is getting worse, not better," Paul Wozney told NEWS 95.7's The Rick Howe Show.
Wozney said the out-of-pocket expenses go well beyond pens, pencils and paper.
"Food, healthy snacks and lunch. Those resources can also be appropriate clothing based on the time of year, making sure students have hats, mittens, scarves and winter coats, he said."
"Teachers continue to step up and find ways to support students, but ultimately teachers shouldn't need to do this," Wozney added. "We shouldn't be relying on the generosity of teachers to make sure students have what they need to succeed in school, that really should be the job of the government."
The Government of Canada offers a tax credit to help reimburse some of the expenses, but Wozney says teachers only get back a fraction of what they invest into their classrooms.