The school year has started again, but classrooms may be lacking in essential supplies. With budget cuts hitting every possible part of city agencies (4,100 teachers jobs were threatened), the NY Times reports on how the "Teacher's Choice" program, which allowed teachers to get reimbursed for getting their classes ready, has been suspended for the foreseeable future.

At one time, Teacher's Choice reimbursed up to $220 in purchases, but it fell to $110 last year. Still, $110 was still something when many teachers tend to spend more out of their own pockets. A second-grade teacher in Brooklyn told the Times, "More than the dollar amount, I think it’s the concept. Because the concept says: ‘We understand that you’re putting out a lot, and we’re supporting you in that.'"

Some teachers say they'll keep buying, but might have to budget. A kindergarten teacher admitted, "A lot of things you would have bought, you’re going to leave off. Like helping the kids out with their supplies, because some of them come in without supplies — that’s going to have to stay off the list. I am going to buy some notebooks, but I’m not going to buy as many as I usually buy. I’m just going to hope that most of them bring it in, and these are for the kids who just can't."

In July, one educator said the end of Teacher's Choice should translate to all teachers dropping the habit of spending their own money on supplies: "No more money from our pockets while Bloomberg spends 900 million on "contractors" or pays millions of our tax dollars to Rupert Murdoch and Joel Klein in no bid contracts. Nuh uh. No way. I'll live without chalk and chart paper. But I can't live with the idea that the billionaires are feasting on our tax dollars while we have to go begging for rubber bands." Well, the state did drop the News Corp. contract—so maybe spend now?

And if you want to help needy classrooms, go to Donors Choose, where you can donate to classrooms. For instance, Ms. G's Bronx kindergarten class—in a high poverty area—could use paper, glue sticks, and more.