Teachers battle budget crunch with their own money
'Want the best for the kids'
While expressing hope that the situation may improve, some envision only darker days ahead.
"I don't see how this gets any better," said Lucas at Union Township Middle School. "Cuts keep happening. It's too bad, because this is such a great school."
"I see how this affects my kids," said Hall at Donald E. Suburu Elementary. "They don't always have the tools to learn. It's always been a problem, but it's much worse now. California's budget should help us, but other states won't benefit from that."
Martin at Salem Elementary said she isn't digging as deeply into her own pocket this year.
"I bought a lot last year, but items like Velcro and magnets that will last longer," she said. "I keep receipts, but I'm afraid to look at what I've spent.
"We're all doing the best we can, and we're not complaining. We just want the best for our kids," Martin said. "There are other things I could do with my life, but I love teaching. It's in my blood, so I'll continue to do what I can for the kids."
—By CNBC's Mark Koba. Follow him on Twitter@MarkKobaCNBC.