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Vicksburg Warren School District admits summer school supplies delivery delay caused confusion

A delay in the delivery of classroom supplies for summer school programs in the Vicksburg Warren School District led to public outcry and confusion last week as some teachers reported purchasing supplies with their own money.
However, the district is making efforts to rectify the situation by reimbursing teachers who provide proof of purchase of summer school supplies. According to VWSD Communications Director Christi Kilroy, the items supplied by the district were paid for using federal funds.
“There was a delay in the ordering and delivery of these supplies this year. Supplies that were on hand at the school were used in the interim and some teachers chose to purchase additional supplies,” Kilroy said. “The district does not typically reimburse for expenses and requires that a purchase order be obtained before a purchase can be made.”
VWSD Director of financial services Cassandra Lewis sent an email to teachers asking them to submit original receipts for items purchased to her office by July 23, so they can be reimbursed.
In terms of the regular school year, Kilroy explained, the process for purchasing supplies is different.   
“The process for purchasing supplies is decentralized — meaning they are handled at each location,” she said. “Each principal has a budget and purchases supplies for their school based on their specific needs.
“Additionally, the state of Mississippi offers funds to eligible teachers for school supplies through the Education Enhancement Fund Procurement Card Program (commonly referred to as EEF cards) each year.”
Kilroy also said teachers often purchase classroom supplies with their own money. In those instances, she said, there is a federal educator expense deduction of up to $250 available on their federal taxes.