ABILENE, Texas -

Classes in Abilene ISD begin August 25, but teachers have been working to prepare all summer.

One main obstacle is having to buy all of the supplies students will need throughout the year. According to the National School Supply and Equipment Association, teachers spend an average of $448 out of pocket each year on supplies.

"When you really want to prepare and set up your classroom and your career.." said Jackie Burch, a first year art teacher at Clack Middle School, "it's worth the investment."

Burch, was also a recipient of a $150 grant from the Abilene Education Foundation, aimed to help off-set expenses.

"If you shop right, " said Burch, "you can really get that money to go far, depending on what you need."

Although the grant does help, teachers buy an average of 77% of their necessary classroom school supplies with their own money each year.

The rest generally comes from the school, parent-teacher groups, or other school funds.