GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) – As parents swarmed the stores on the last day of the new school year, so did the teachers.
And as far as teachers go, there’s a little store in Gulfport that’s a go-to spot as they prepare for the opening of their schools after the summer break.
Saturday was a good day to Educate and Celebrate, and that means it was a good day for teachers, especially since school supplies were among the items eligible for tax-exempt status.
“As much as I spend in the classroom, you know, it takes a lot to prepare a classroom,” said Natasha McNair, a teacher at North Gulfport Elementary/Middle School. “So, yeah, it’s a good bit…I get to save more money. You know, teaching costs money. So any little bit that we can save is very beneficial.
School supplies were exempt from taxes on this holiday for the first time in 2019.
This is a nice bonus for Professor Kalyn Balius.
“It will be exciting to save some money,” said Kalyn Balius, a teacher at St. Martin North Elementary. “Any time I can save while supporting my kids in my class, that’s a good thing.”
Doing it in a store that caters to your profession is even better.
“It’s awesome,” Balius said. “It saves having to order online, having to pay shipping, and we can actually see the product in our hand to know what it’s going to look like instead of hoping it has the look good when we get it in the mail.”
Special education teacher Katie Ziegler has a long list of items and she’s paired with teacher assistant Yvonne Husley to grab and go.
“For my class, we need a lot of hands-on manipulatives…because we’re working on fine motor skills to help our students with severe cognitive disabilities,” Ziegler said.
It was a big cost for her personally.
“Last year, just to prepare for the school year, I spent about $1,000 out of my pocket,” she added.
So any help is appreciated.
“It means the world can come in and stock up even more without having to come out of their own pocket as much as we normally do,” Ziegler said.
Husley would like to see the tax-exempt status extended.
“I think a lot of school supplies for parents on a regular basis shouldn’t be taxed,” she said. “I’m looking for untaxed groceries.”
The tax-free holiday ends Saturday at midnight.
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