Saturday, August 11, 2007

Back-to-school expenses on the rise

Parents have share of burden of providing classroom supplies

Clutching a list of required back-to-school supplies for her granddaughter, Missy Page made her way down the aisle at Wal-Mart on a recent afternoon, slowly checking off each of the 22 items.

Page, who lives in Fern Creek, said the list seemed longer than the ones handed out when her own children were in school. In addition to the usual paper, pencils and glue, she had to buy items ranging from a ream of copy paper to two packages of dry erase markers -- for a kindergartner.

"I'm not really complaining," she said of the list, pausing in front of a row of folders and crayons. "It's just different. You kind of wonder what your taxes are going for." She said she had no idea how much she would spend.

But a recent survey by the National Retail Federation found that the average household with children plans to spend $563 for back-to-school merchandise this year, up 6.9 percent from last year's average of $527. Although clothing and accessories represent the largest spending category, classroom supplies are expected to account for $94 of the total...

This from Alex Davis at the Courier-Journal.
It's either this, charging student fees, or an increase in instructional materials money from the state. All other options lower the quality of the education.

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