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EllyTeaches's Message:

That sounds high. I am not even sure my total amount spent for my class was that high. It seems like they probably included technology that kids use for fun in that number even though it shouldn't be.

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Discussion Review (newest messages first)
CurlieGirl 09-04-2017 08:57 PM

even want to include clothes or shoes. My kid outgrows his pants between the time they are bagged at the checkout and when he tries them on for his dad after we get home.

TaffyFL 09-03-2017 05:31 AM

I love these articles that never mention WHY there are school supply lists. These parents elected people who cut school budgets. Why are they never held accountable when parents complain about purchasing school supplies?

Just like when parents complain about STATE testing their kids endure. They blame the schools when it is a law enacted by people they elected.

teach_love 09-02-2017 04:55 PM

Must have only interviewed or took stats in upper class neighborhoods where nothing but the best, you know Beats for headphones, and such are acceptable.

Our class supply list could have been filled with $20. Done.

EllyTeaches 09-02-2017 01:58 PM

That sounds high. I am not even sure my total amount spent for my class was that high. It seems like they probably included technology that kids use for fun in that number even though it shouldn't be.

Penguin82 09-02-2017 12:50 PM

Trying to figure out why people buy new when they can reuse stuff from the year before. For example, I have my kids buy 3 ring binders for their data notebooks. As a parent, I would file what I wanted to keep, then send the notebook for the next year.
Same with scissors, crayons, and pencils. At the end of the year, whatever comes back is sent the next year.

As a teacher, I send home extra supplies: pencils, crayons, markers, etc.

Lottalove 09-02-2017 10:03 AM

poll was worded exactly when we consider "school supplies" v. "back to school costs" and people's perception of the question.

After I read this, I did take the time to ask several people I know IRL. Even when I said "school supplies" in my question, almost all of them listed all the extracurricular costs and fees. When I pressed, they said they didn't really differentiate the two.

My handful of folks wouldn't compare to a major survey, but if that is the case, it would definitely explain the big number.

And too, I wouldn't put it past a news reporter to do the same to get a bigger story. Just saying.

all41 09-02-2017 08:55 AM


My point exactly!!

Tawaki 09-02-2017 07:58 AM

Gut out absolutely everything that wasn't office supply/art supply related

Around $500 for the above.

$500-$200 for printer ink=$300

(color prints WERE mandatory. Other options were before/after school/public library/Kinkos..)

Art supplies for 9 months of 6 classes with of projects, all which were absolutely needed, and stated in the project outline.

$300-$200= $100.

$100 for pencils/composition books/writing stuff.

I know my kid will not get away with only spending $100 on "school supplies" this year. One teacher already sent an email telling parents there will be 4 big deal projects this year. This is a required class.

I appreciate the heads up.

Elementary school was easier. One teacher, maybe 4 big projects. Middle school is crazy with money walking.

I always send extra when school starts because I know some parents can't or won't send a thing.

GlacierRose 09-02-2017 07:24 AM

The original post was about school supplies. Those are a subset of all school expenses. There is no way I believe those figures are correct for school supplies, if that is what was reported. If they included all those other expenses and labeled it "school supplies", that's really shoddy reporting.

Tawaki 09-02-2017 06:40 AM

If you include things like student pictures, yearbooks, after school club fees, pay to play sports fees and a school year of hot school lunches, and public transportation fees, you'd could probably hit $800 for an elementary kid. I'm not even including tech or sports equipment.

When I figure out my school budget, I'm including ALL of the above. That pack of pencils/pens/paper is probably under $100.

The cutesy make at home school projects cost ME about $30-$50/per pop. Trifolds/poster boards etc aren't given. I'll eat the cost of glue gun and sticks because that was for my convenience of not losing my mind waiting for Elmers glue to dry.

For grins and giggles, I calculated ALL school related cost and it was around $1,000 for a kid who does no sports. Even if I gut out year book, photos, anything after school, and lunches, it really only drops the price tag by $400.

I'm not including clothes or new tech. My printer ink is $100 per complete change. My kid had enough projects for me to buy carriages twice, and I did all the printing.

So, I really don't dread the Clorox wipes or pencil cases, it's all the other stuff that comes down the pipe that gives me hives.

*It's cheaper for kid to buy lunch than her bringing. Did a 3 month study on that. I have one kid. It may be different if you have a bigger family. We also do not eat sandwiches, so cheapy PB&J ain't happening here. Lol..

all41 09-02-2017 04:06 AM

I have a problem with school fees being included in with the label school supplies. In my opinion they are 2 very different things and should be discussed as just that.

When we hear school supplieswe think crayons, glue, and pencils. The items teachers request the students have to use in the classroom. When school fees are added into this it groups different items together like apples and oranges.

This sets the teachers up to be blamed for the high expenses instead of the fact that schools are not getting enough funding to continue offering the extra curriculars without forwarding the cost onto the students and their families. It's easier to blame the teacher.

GraceKrispy 09-01-2017 10:57 PM

Then you figure in football camp, band instruments, sports uniforms, band camp, cheer camp, cheer uniforms, gym shoes, book deposit, year books, physicals and all that.
Oh, I was not thinking of those school fees as "school supplies," but yeah, they definitely jack up the price something fierce!
apple annie 09-01-2017 07:51 PM

If my students shop the sales, they can get everything on my list for under $20.

tgbwc 09-01-2017 06:55 PM

I saw the same story and the "averages" that you quoted for the different levels. No way the avg is that high. The average? No. It must include things like clothing and even at that it seems high.

whatever 09-01-2017 02:01 PM

front, especially in HS. When you figure in football camp, band instruments, sports uniforms, band camp, cheer camp, cheer uniforms, gym shoes, book deposit, year books, physicals and all that. It's related but non essential stuff for the extracurricular that some families feel is important.

Not every kid participates in everything but many have more than one. It can add up fast and still not include school clothes. If your school has uniforms, most parents would then include that clothing cost in the total.

I can see a huge total if you have several very active kids.

Gromit 09-01-2017 12:40 PM

I have a fairly extensive list because of all the things that I'm required to request plus the stuff that I actually want. I calculated the amount if you shop sales and bargain hunt, and it was less than $60. If you bought the night before at Target and nothing was on sale and you bought fancy pencil boxes and folders rather than generic ones, it was about $160. I am highly skeptical that anyone could spend $800 on an average school supply list.

MissAgnes 09-01-2017 10:45 AM

I have a high schooler, 2 middle schoolers and a 4th grader. Aside from clothes, I MIGHT have spend $150. I only buy Ticonderoga pencils, and my HS kid will only use one specific type of pen (autistic, I pick my battles), so that makes it more. Thos numbers are crazy.

GlacierRose 09-01-2017 08:46 AM

I haven't seen that, but I'm highly skeptical of the truth of that report. The problem is too many people will believe it without another thought.

ThatDiva 09-01-2017 08:02 AM

I just went school supply shopping on yesterday and spent less than $100. I even bought extra to keep at home. This even included paper towels, hand sanitizer, and tissues. I will probably go get an extra pack of colored pencils and journals later today.

What are these parents buying?!

glaciergirl 09-01-2017 07:28 AM

Doesn't the news always like to blow everything out of proportion?????

kerteach2 08-31-2017 05:25 PM

I just spent $163 for my 2 HS kids on supplies - binders, pens, etc.
I don't count new clothes, shoes, or laptops as a school supply. We are going clothes shopping anyway because my 15 year old son just keeps growing

GraceKrispy 08-31-2017 04:23 PM

School supplies are expensive, but that's definitely way more than I've ever spent! Over a hundred per kid, easy. but 800 per kid? Nope. Not even with new clothes! I found the NBC article here: (the article references the YouTube video someone posted on the lounge a few days ago )

(and I would LOVE if my rent payment were as cheap as 1500/month... omg, the things I could buy with all my extra monthly money!)

all41 08-31-2017 03:34 PM

I just happened to catch a story on NBC Nightly News about the cost of school supplies and how much they have gone up over the years. They reported that the average 'cost of school supplies' for an elementary student is $800, middle school is $1000, and high school at $1,500. What the he!! are people buying for school supplies that cost that amount of money per kids.

The story didn't say that this amount includes such items as new clothes or computers used at home for homework, so one is left to believe this is the cost of actual school supplies such as pencils and paper. I can't fathom that the actual school supplies cost that much - that is a lot of pencils, crayons, and notebooks for $1000!

This leads me to believe personal items such as clothes and computers are included in this report. So what I want to know is when did a whole new wardrobe and home technology become a 'school supply'??!

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