Every year it seems like there is more and more to buy for back to school supplies. It also seems like it comes in larger quantities. Do my kids really need to have 9 composition books, 4 scissors, 5 highlighters, red pens for grading, sharpies, white erase markers and well – the list goes on. Double, triple or quadruple that when you have more than one child in school and it is no wonder why back to school shopping ranks right up there with the most money spent during the entire year.
This year I’m not sending one single, solitary pencil to school. Here’s why.
More than 30 states actually paid less per student in school funding in 2014 than they did back in 2008.
One teacher in Oklahoma says she spends approximately $4000-$6000 a year. Why?
“Their little faces are just devastated when they don’t have books and colors,” she said of her Moore Public Schools students in Oklahoma. “It’s amazing what that can do for a child.”
This new teacher says she has $100 to spend on supplies. Kids in her class don’t even have step stools so they can wash their hands. So she babysits to make the extra money to buy supplies for her classroom.
The average teacher spends $500 a year on school supplies.
School supply purchases may be a business expense but only up to a certain amount. While the NEA is trying to pass a bill which would allow for a higher business expense allowance, the current allowance is only a fraction of what is actually spent.
Back to School Supplies
For the past several years Money Saving Parent headquarters has contributed to a back to school supply drive. We would shop till we dropped in order to be able to make our money go further as we purchased items to fill a back pack to help out a local student. We frequently could do enough to help two students providing them with everything they would need – with the exception of the elusive large size white construction paper which I can NEVER find.
This year we did things a little differently. Having worked in schools as a teacher and administrator I’m aware during back to school and throughout the school year of how much money teachers actually spend. I don’t mean the schools money, I mean the money from their own paycheck spent on the classroom supplies which parents may not be able to supply or that the school district no longer supplies but expects teachers and parents to provide.
Helping My Child’s Classroom with
Supplies Throughout the Year Not Just Back to School
This year when my daughter’s school teacher sends out a wish list for paper towels, baby wipes, Lysol Spray or hand santizer I’ll remind myself those items are for the whole classroom. If parents don’t provide them she will.
I headed to to Oriental Trading Co. to purchase back to school supplies. With coupons for savings on a total purchase or for shipping I can purchase supplies in “bulk.” This means I have plenty of the supplies my own students’ need as well as plenty of supplies I can donate to the school. I even found the elusive white construction paper and a number of other hard to find supplies.
Another way we contribute is through DonorsChoose.org. You can visit there and look for schools and teachers in your district which are trying to raise money for their classroom. There’s all sorts of opportunities and I like that I can choose the school and the project that I wish to support. It helps that any amount can be donated.
So that’s why I’m not sending one single solitary pencil to my daughters’ school this year for back to school supplies. I’m sending several pencils and a whole lot more for back to school and throughout the year.