School Supplies Getting Out of Hand?

Updated on August 19, 2011
R.B. asks from Decorah, IA
33 answers

As I am going through the school supplies list for my kids... What happened to the basics? I understand giving the parents more of the responsibility to get supplies used through out the year, because the schools don't have the money...

But come on really?! Some of these are just crazy!

For my preschoolers..
50 count clear page protectors
container of Clorox wipes
2 each Elmer’s washable glue sticks and 8ox glue
wiggle eyes
3M Command adhesive strip refills – mini/small ( must be 3M brand and size)
#2 Ticonderoga pencils ( must be Ticonderoga #2 pencils as they are the only brand that fits our pencil sharpeners)
1 box each of Crayola washable Classic Colors markers (1 broad line – 1 fine line)
1 box of Crayola colored pencils
1 box 8cnt Crayola crayons.

This is on top of the regular notebooks, folders, scissors.

For the older kids~
#2 Ticonderoga pencils ( must be Ticonderoga #2 pencils as they are the only brand that fits our pencil sharpeners)
2 boxes each Crayola Classic Color, Crayola Bright Color Markers ( broad line and fine line)
2 boxes each Colored pencils
2 boxes 12 ct2 Dry erase erasers
1 pkg. 8½x11 white cardstock
1 pkg. 8½x11 colored cardstock
1 pkg 8½x11 colored copy paper
1 pkg 8½x11 white copy paper
4 scotch tape dispensers
2 boxes of Gallon size Ziploc baggies
2 boxes of Sandwich size Ziploc baggies
2 boxesof Crayola Crayons
10 glue sticks
10 8oz bottles of glue
3 lg pink erasers
3 pkgs wedge cap erasers
2 pkgs Dry erase markers
2 dry erase erasers

This is on top of the spiral notebooks, loose leaf paper, folders, pens.

Then add picture day is on the first day of school. This is a lot to except parents to buy with one child, let alone families with multiple children… or 5 like us ;)

Do you agree some of this isn’t necessary or more so taking it to extremes? I know the times have changed in the last 15 years since I graduated but that all of this is needed?

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So What Happened?

I understand that if we don't get the items that it will come out of the teachers pockets and I don't think that is right either! But my main gripe is... why do they need classic and bold colors, fine tip and wide tip markers?! honestly Is it really teaching them anything different by using 4 types of markers? Why do they have to have wedge eraser caps and the large pink ones... wouldn't one or the other be ok?

There is more to each list, these were the ones that I found too many or not necassary. Why do they need clorox wipes? What happened to bleach and water and a rag? I know that is what we used at the preschool I use to work at.

My son who is in high school this year also needs a compass, protractor and a calculatar... all a specific brand. The calculatar they "want" him to get is $75. hmm... he isn't getting that one. Last year I had to buy him 3 cause he lost them/ were stolen.
Oh forgot to metion the book covers for each book used, the paper bag/ home made ones are not acceptable.

To Leigh R. first of all... I DO volunteer at my kids schools and I am involved in the PTA. I have seen where "some" of the supplies go. But this year it has doubled from last year. I was just wondering if this is simular to others or if its crazy ( like I think it is). If you don't want to read yet another school supply question that you get... the subject line says what it is about. You can skip right over... THAT is something YOU can do instead of being rude. Thank you to the rest of you.

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answers from Minneapolis on

I have 3 kids, one 7th grader and two 1st graders, I don't mind getting the supplies that the schools want/need my problem is it has gotten to the point where the schools are brand specific and they don't sell those brands at the dollar store, and to get the good deals at the other stores it is for the Roseart brand and the school only wants crayola.

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answers from Wausau on

that does seem extreme. 10bottles of glue!!!!!!!!!!! 2 boxes of crayons and markers - won't one box of each last all year. to me it sounds like the teacher is supplying their room for years to come!
And I know many schools are having a hard time with budgets, but in some states (Michigan being one), the schools can NOT require you to buy things like that. So if it's a hardship for you, talk to the teacher ...

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answers from Houston on

Looks like mine - plus I have to buy a box of bandaids, and 3 (!) boxes of kleenex tissues... 10 bottles of glue though? thats insane!
Oh and wipes - a box of wipes, and huge amounts of different color folders, but the have to be specific colors. It is ridiculous.
Where I am from (Wales) there are no school supplies lists, the school "supplies" the school supplies!

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answers from Austin on

I will send whatever they ask. I think of all of the stuff we go through here at home on a monthly basis and we are not home nearly as long as they spend in school working all day long.

Again, I encourage each of you to become involved volunteering inside your children's schools.. YOU will then understand EXACTLY why these supplies are needed and how much each child uses.. Remember they are in classes all day..

Maybe some of the supplies are also for the art dept.. Maybe for the music class rooms? Heck, even in PE sometimes, they also need supplies.

The calculators for advanced math are expensive. Our daughter needed one in middle school it was $150. It was for advanced math and she used it all the way through high school. She could have borrowed one from the school, but it had to stay in the classroom.. IF she had lost it, she knew I was not going to replace it.. SHE could save up and save it..

I remember very clearly my mom complaining about having to purchase school supplies each year and it was not nearly as extensive as it is now.. I guess it is just a right of passage for each year that school funding is cut, we will have to make up the difference ourselves..

OR you could send your children to private school and pay tuition? Then you could demand the supplies be provided by them.

Or stay at home and homeschool your kids.. They you can use the pencils and pens your spouses bring home from work. Or have your kids do all of their work on the computer.. No paper needed. You would be in control of not using so many supplies.

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answers from Sacramento on

If you don't provide it, the teachers have to cover it out of their own wallets. I think teachers are just being better now about saying what they need so they don't have to do that, especially when many are taking pay cuts due to furlough days.

Our lists were extensive, too, but I'm fine with that (not in a "Yipee!" way, but I accept it). I also send in the optional items on the list to help out.

ETA: I'm floored by the post from 8kidsdad. As the parent of a child with a disability, my jaw about hit the floor. Wow.

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answers from Rockford on

I have to say I have seen a ton of supply lists, and having been a teacher for many years myself and making my own supply list, yours is way out of control. I could not justify that. I would not be happy to receive that list as a parent. Do they expect you to rent a van to lug all this to school on the first day? Or will you just send the older kids with a wheeled crate? Bring it all in on a forklift the first day. Jeez. Lol at the wiggly eyes though!

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answers from Boca Raton on

We homeschool now so it's a moot point for us, but it got ridiculous before I pulled my kids out of school. I could easily spend $200 for one child.

But hey, in our public schools our high school has a professionally done ASTRO-TURF football field.

Meanwhile my son's private school fought for years with their city to turn on their lights, and had to routinely play at 4:00 pm in the blazing south Florida heat.

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answers from Charleston on

My list for a 3rd grader is very similar to yours. I think the massive amount is so they can cover the students who don't buy ANYTHING! They pool all the supplies together and then dole them out to each kid. What happened to each student bringing their OWN supplies, labeling them with their names, and putting them in their desk in a pencil/storage box? That's what I did in elementary school. If I ran out of something - I either told my mom or the teacher sent a note home to buy some more. And don't get me started on the fact that nothing gets sent home at the end of the year. Not even the $7 scissors or the 6 out of 10 black and white composition notebooks that were required. She only used 4 all year. We never got 6 returned at the end of school. I was tempted to ask her teacher where the other 6 were, but decided not to be a snarky B&*%#@! I feel your pain!

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answers from Washington DC on

There are other similar questions floating around. You are not the only one thinking that the current trend is overboard or silly. I'd want to test the sharpeners myself and if that was true, I'd want to know who bought them because that's stupid.

Picture day on the FIRST day of school? Come on. Some kids aren't even moved into the neighborhood on the first day.

Cardstock now, too? So your kid needs a luggage set to get all this to school or you need to drop it off. I think that's out of hand. I used to have to handle a lot of paper for my old job and a ream of paper adds up. Four per kid? That's a ton!

Sounds like the teacher is balking at buying the things the school no longer helps him/her with and putting it on the parents. If the school won't provide copy paper for teachers....I understand that districts are cutting budgets, but copy paper should be standard.

And TEN bottles of glue per kid? PER KID? What are they smoking? It's not just the items, but the quantities that astound me on your list.

I wonder what would happen if you and all your friends called the school to complain about it.

Edit to add that with all this going around, I wanted to check our local school. My DD is not in K yet but this is the list for this year:

# 12 - # 2 Pencils
# 24 - Crayons
# 2 - Glue Sticks
# 1 - Box of Tissues
# 1 - Pink Eraser
# 8 - Broad Tip Markers
# 1 - Pair of Fiskar Scissors (this is the only name brand on the list)
# 1 - Pencil Case
# 1 - Wide-Ruled Spiral Bound Notebook
# 3 - Pocket Folders

Much more reasonable. What is going on in these other districts??

I've read the other posts and I still maintain that requiring EACH child to provide 24 dry erase markers, 10 bottles of glue, 4 reams of different paper and all the other things on this list is ridiculous. And book covers of a particular brand? Where do you live? 90210? They need to get over themselves.

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answers from Omaha on

They lost me at wiggle eyes.

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answers from Washington DC on

Thanks to Laurie A. for the most sane and sensible response on any of these too-many threads about school supplies. Can we just stop the ongoing "Here's my horrible school supply list" postings, folks? We get it. It's out of control some places. We don't need multiple postings about this same topic, do we?

I like Laurie's recommendation: Volunteer in school and find out why the teachers are asking for so much. See how the supplies are really used. Get active on the PTA and complain there, not here. Get inside the school and find out why teachers are asking for these items and what the real issue is -- cuts in budgets. And then through PTA or on your own, do something about THAT instead.

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answers from New York on

The thing is... you would be really surprised by how much "stuff" your kid goes through in a year! 10 8oz bottles of glue isn't that much and those little bottles don't dry-up.

As long as they aren't going to hit you up for mid-year replenishing, this is pretty accurate!

At my son's daycare (where I pay a small fortune), we have to bring in supplies quarterly to keep the tuition cost down....
4 rolls of paper towels
2 tubes of Clorox wipes
2 boxes of wipes
2 boxes of tissues
** This is for a home daycare center and we do this 4 x's a year!

The supplies have to come from somewhere... schools have no money for many reasons (some legit and some not) but if they try to raise the taxes people freak out too.

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answers from Rochester on

As a teacher, I have seen school supply lists get longer. It is mainly due to budget cuts. I am constantly buying supplies for my classroom out of my own pocket (partly because I am a reading specialist and don't have my "own" students). I have probably spent $50 out of my own pocket just this week. I also have had to change the way I teach in some ways because I don't have access to supplies like I used to have. But, I think this list is way out of control!

If I were you, for your older children, I would just buy one package/box of pencils, markers, colored pencils, scotch tape, crayons, dry erase markers (4 pack), glue sticks (2 pack), glue, pink erasers, cap erasers, and then the notebooks/paper, folders. If you tell the teacher that at this point that is all that you can provide, I don't think it will be a problem. (Dry erase markers and erasers may not be for the teacher to use. Many math programs now utilize small white boards for students to use for practice rather than paper. An old sock works great for an eraser if it is for student use.)

For your younger child, Clorox wipes, pencils, crayons, markers, glue sticks and glue, and colored pencils. (Clorox wipes are needed because bleach is now considered a hazardous chemical. Elementary schools can no longer have bleach in areas that kids use.)

You can get a lot of the supplies on the lists at the dollar store and places like Target and Walmart have a lot of these supplies on sale for really low prices right now. About half way through the year you can check in with your children's teachers and see if there are any supplies that need to be restocked.

It would be nice if you kept the supply list and throughout the year if you see one of the items on sale you could pick one up and take it in.

I think a lot of schools do a picture day very early in the school year because of security reasons. Most schools do have current pictures on file of all students.

I can remember my parents (both teachers) complaining about how much we had to spend on school supplies and that was over 20 years ago! Unfortunately it has gotten worse and probably won't get any better.

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answers from Dallas on

Our lists are similar with more crayons and folders added on. Blah! Plus, they just passes another school bond this past Spring( I voted NO!). Our school district is pretty well off. The kids have computer lab that they go two PLUS every grade(k-5) has it's own portable computer lab with laptops(20-25 per grade). Sell some of the lap tops and provide the copy paper and construction paper for you classes!
Our teacher out here are treated posh too- you are very encouraged(meaning they ask each child to provide money) to buy birthday/Christmas/teacher appreciation/and end of year gifts for the teacher. They have monthly teacher lunches which are provided by the parents for the teachers. They have parents come in twice a year to watch classes for teachers to take a longer lunch(that is paid for by the parents) and they have parents come in to watch classes so the teachers can go to their annual teachers conference in Dallas(why would this be during the school year?)
So I have a really hard time feeling bad for these teachers having to buy some school supplies for their class.

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answers from Omaha on

Sadly no i don't think it's excessive. It use to be that schools had a budget for art for example. Not anymore. The schools provide the teachers with next to nothing. They have to make and buy their own bulletin boards even.

So it either falls on your shoulders or you expect the teacher with more pry more debt in school loans than she makes in a year to buy this for each student.

Yeah I'm happy to send construction paper and wiggle eyes so that my kids still get to do art. Some of my best memories were the art projects!

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answers from Minneapolis on

from my understanding they have kids bring extras for the kids that have nothing-then they divy it up.theres no way on gods green earth these kids need all this stuff on the 1st day of school,glad my kids are grown n out of school,their just making it harder n harder for kids to get educated.send them with the basics-paper pencils etc.all the xtra can wait til its needed-and what the heck are the zip lock bags for?..good luck

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answers from Madison on

I, too, agree that the lists and what they expect us to provide for our kids for school are getting longer and more excessive (and expensive) every year. This year I had my daughter, who's going into the 6th grade, go through all of her "leftovers" from all the other grades to see what she had that could be reused before we went shopping for anything. That bill for school supplies alone cost me $40. And I only have one child, and we bought as cheap as we possibly could. Still have to buy 2 new pairs of tennies---one of which will be kept at school for gym (they don't want any dirt getting on the gym floor) and a new winter coat, as she's worn her last one for 2-3 years and has outgrown it.

I understand that "the schools" don't have the money for stuff--but seriously? WE have to supply everything, to include art supplies? I really,REALLY don't remember my parents having to supply everything for us for school. Ever. What is "the school money" being spent on, then, that we have to provide everything? When I was in school/in band, the school provided us with reeds (unless you played an instrument that had an expensive reed, like an oboe). Now I have to go and buy a box of reeds for my daughter to use. And if she goes up a strength in reed--there I sit, with extra reeds unused. I'm going to be nice and donate them for the use of the band, but still. They're not cheap!

I don't know where or when the madness will end, but it will end soon. Just like our national debt, we can't keep giving and giving or being asked to give and give and give. Where IS the money going if the schools can't afford the basics like they could when we were in school? Wherever it is that the money is going to--needs to be seriously rethought, in my opinion.

And no, I don't think the teachers should have to pay for stuff out of their own pocket. I mean, every year I've been asked to donate something like $5 to be put into the classroom kitty; I'm assuming it's used to help kids who don't have stuff. And I don 't have an issue with donating that $5, because there should be a kitty to be used for some stuff. Except anytime there's been parties, parents are asked to donate the food, the drinks, even the paper plates, utensils, and napkins. That's not coming from the teacher. And this year, it was requested as a "donation" if parents want to donate a box of Kleenex, a tub of Chlorox wipes, and Band-aids (actually, it's been like that since my daughter started Kindergarten). I don't mind helping, but if every parents donates, that's 50 of everything! I realize not everyone does, but if they did, isn't that a little excessive? But of course, not everyone does donate. But still. Tissues and Band-aids used to be provided when I was in school, and as one poster said, whatever happened to using a rag and some chlorox bleach? That's what I use at home, or what I used to do when I worked outside the home in an office.

We're just getting through grade school. I can't wait for the middle and high school years, where they demand even more stuff (not). And this year, the sixth graders are going to "camp" for three days, and I get to pay an extra $60. That's on top of paying for school pictures, lunch account, fees, yearbook, etc. We do that tomorrow; my checkbook will be vastly depleted. And everyone who has students in sports gets to pay their kid's sport fees as well.

I truly wonder when the insanity will end. It has to; we only have so much money in our pockets too.

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answers from Washington DC on

that list seems similar to my daughters list (1st grade). I don't mind getting that stuff because schools don't have extra money. But, what does bother me is when they are picky about what brands to get. Like when the crayons HAVE to be crayola brand, when store brand is cheaper and they probibly work just the same. Sometimes I just buy what is cheaper (usually store brand) anyway and the school can deal with it because I'm not rich

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answers from Wausau on

I know that there is not much you can do with this although annoying but ummm I don't think any child can go through 10 bottles of glue plus 10 glue sticks in one year.Never seen it happen. I will send supplies for what my child will reasonably use and that is it. Most of the other items make sense.

I understand the brand requirements also. You can send the kids to school with a lot of poor quality items that will just get thrown out because they will not work or hol up. :(

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answers from Cleveland on

I DO think this list is very excessive but I also DO NOT appreciate all the teacher/school bashing, considering I'm a teacher. I am not at all complaining about being a teacher and willingly spend my own $ on my classroom and students, but it is well outside the tiny budget I have to spend.

Not knowing anything about your school, perhaps the budget had to be cut so drastically that these are the supplies that are needed. I'd recommend a phone call to ascertain what are the must haves and what are the extras. I'd personally rather contribute to my child's school supplies than cuts be made in teaching staff and upping the class size, which deteriorates a child's education.

And yes, our students do need reasonably modern facilities and technology in order to compete in a global economy, and it often costs more to retrofit an outdated facility. Newsflash: our country is lagging far behind others; do the research, it's out there.

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answers from Minneapolis on

As a teacher- parents need to understand that we don't get a lot of money for extras in our classroom. I am a preschool teacher who has a supply list otherwise would not be able to color or create projects or even write with pencils. We do use a lot of things even in preschool. With all the budget cuts everyone needs to understand how hard it is to do OUR (teaching) job.

Just bear with it and help out your child's teacher with what they have requested. I always use more then I ask kids to bring in, and am always spending my own money to help educate my students.

I have three children of my own so I know all about the school supply lists. Its only helping your child!

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answers from Minneapolis on

I have found that my kids bring home alot of stuff that ended up being lightly used or not at all. If anything before you go out and buy everything put in an email/phone call to the school. I don't think you need that many varieties of erasers, my kids say that the larger ones last longer. As for the specific pencils what if you buy them personal pencil sharpeners for $1 that they can have all year and buy whatever brand works for you. This year my kids are reusing the colored pencils, markers etc.. from last year!
Good luck to you

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answers from Minneapolis on

I would be seriously wondering what in heck would my kid (or the teacher for that matter) do with 80 ounces of glue! Multiply that by 20 or 30 kids? I would ask first buy later. just for kicks... there are 128 ounces in a gallon. considering the quantity requested... for a classroom of just 20 kids that would be 12.5 gallons of glue!!! A bit unreasonable considering art class is not a major subject for these kids! My son is in 2nd grade. He barely went through 1 glue stick the whole year. Have no clue where it all went.

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answers from Minneapolis on

I did not read any responses, so sorry if I repeat. I agree that these lists are out of hand!
I get the basics for my kids and the things I feel are excessive or odd I wait. Then when the school supplies go on clearance I pick up the ones I left off. If I cant find them on clearance I wait. Nine times out of ten they never use the items or they use ONE! No wonder the first days of school are soo stressful for parents and students alike. This is unreasonable pressure on parents who most likely cant afford to buy all of this on limited budgets.
Now, what I feel teachers are doing by asking for 2 of something (other than say glue sticks, pencils etc.) is covering for the kids who dont. Which is not fair to everyone else. Now, I thought how about the first day of school give out different lists to each child and then the excesses can be cut out. I almost have a nervous break down when I go school supply shopping on a budget. Its got to stop somewhere. Lets go back to basics and only get what they REALLY need!

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answers from Hartford on

Wow! I'm a teacher and we don't ask for kids to send in school supplies at all. The rule in our building is that you can send a list home, but you need to be willing to supply for those that can't or won't send it in. The rule in my room is that I will give you what you need, but you must take care of it. I'm not going to keep replacing lost or destroyed items. I have never seen a list like that!

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answers from Boston on

My son is going into 4 th grade he needs a box of pencils, a pack of erasers, index cards, post it notes, 3 folders and 3 single subject notebooks, highlighter, a box of Kleenex, and I think thats about it. Our teachers send out a wish list of items twice a year and that includes things they pool like dry erase markers, crayons, clorox wipes, etc I usually donate a few things a couple times a year.

Edited: what math is your high school son? The more advanced the math class the more pricey the calculator. You should buy him a decent graphing calculator he will use it in certain science classes and in math classes in college. Sure when I was in high school my calculator was $100 but I used from 9 th grade through college. I'm sure they list a brand because that is what the teacher is used to they are all different when you get to that level the teacher doesn't want to take up class time trying to help him figure out how to do the steps. That is one thing that I would definitely stick to the brand.

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answers from Janesville-Beloit on

Seems a little excessive to me. I work at an elementary school and the amount of ziploc bags is rediculous. Our school requires students to bring bags too, but 1 box of each, not 2. And the teachers rarely use all the bags they are supplied with. As far as the Ticonderoga pencils, I know they are more expensive, but from the school standpoint, they sharpen much better than the cheaper brands. The cheaper brands usually don't sharpen well, break often, and you end up wasting half the pencil just trying to sharpen it once. Ticonderoga pencils are less likely to do that. With other things, requiring specific brands and so many up front is terrible. They are probably trying to make sure kids have everything they will need for the year but they won't need that much all at once. I'm guessing the teachers are not allowed to let kids use bleach because it is a chemical. At our school, we have to have everything in a marked cabinet, including rubber cement, wipes, etc. and students are not allowed in that cabinet. Our schools require clorox (or generic brand) wipes as well. I know many families with multiple children who buy the necessities for the start of school and finish later. Teachers will get a great deal of bags and other things the first day and I'm sure could wait a few weeks for the rest.



answers from Dallas on

I imagine Riley J would trade lists with you any day! If I remember correctly her list included underwear, pull ups and ground coffee! Yes. Some lists are getting out of hand. Budget cuts combined with teachers paying for items out of their own pockets (and getting fed up with paying) are resulting in excessive lists. I am grateful mine isn't too bad or outrageous.



answers from Milwaukee on

Our list is quite similar.

What I would like to know is "what if I could not afford it"? Today, as my life stands, I can afford it but if a tragedy or divorce or job loss...then how do I get these things for my children?



answers from Des Moines on

i do think that is excessive! Why do preschoolers need page protectors? and why do you have to supply things like cardstock and copy paper when that should be in the school's budget. same with some of the other stuff like the dry erasers and stuff. that just seems ridiculous. especially if you have 5 kids to buy all that for!! Better get a Sam's Club membership, see if they can save you money on some of that bulk stuff. And what school, in their right mind, makes picture day the first day of school??

Good luck, and shop around for great deals, or look for a local Freecycle Yahoo Group, a lot of the time you can find free stuff there.



answers from Milwaukee on

That list is outrageous! DON'T TELL ME SCHOOLS DON'T HAVE MONEY! BULLCRAP!!! Sorry not yelling at you but all the dozens of posters that said schools don't have money! I have a almost 5year old and a 2 year old so no school yet (just preschool) But in our school district, (where I went to school and my Mom works at one of the High school so I know what I am talking about) Huge referendum (MILLIONS) was passed for a new pool and gym (they had one just wanted a NEW one) A prefectly good school was torn down and a brand new high tech one was built (grade school not high school) Janitors were told to let things fall apart so they could show how bad the school is and get a brand new one built when if the school was MAINTAINED (like our houses are) it would last for 100years like any good building. Please these school officials want all this fancy stuff to feel fancy but guess what, it is not helping kids learn one bit! I hope people start getting a clue to where the money is going and lets do something about it. Vote no on referendums and make the spending accountable like it is for our home budgets! Kids need to learn the basics in grade school, then they can then learn "high tech" things in middle to High school, that is one problem. What happen to responsibilty? I would rather buy a pencil box for my kids to keep THEIR supplies in, so they are accountable to what is lost or broken.
I also agree with other posters who mentioned all the programs that provide school supplies to the needy. They get enough help, they don't need other parents from the class providing also!
Teachers-- if you need to provide SO many supplies so often WHY not bring it up to the principle and other adminastrators? Why just buy it? Why not seek other programs that can help provide if there is SUCH a vast amount of supplies you need.
One feed up taxpayer!



answers from Omaha on

I do not send multiple anything with my child to school. I will supply a box of kleenex , one sanitizer, and one box of clorox wipes. He gets one box of crayons, and now that we are intermediate, I get some colored pencils, and somewhere along the line we end up with markers. I will not send pencils- except the one or two he needs, and a bottle of which ever glue the teacher prefers. I am sorry to be rude, but they are asking us to supply for the underpriveleged as well, but the Open door mission, the churches, the police department, the salvation army, the good will adn the homeless shelters- among many others, provide supplies to the needy, everyone else needs to fend for themselves. I was a single mom, who made little money- but not little enough for any assistance, and I was still expected to provide school supplies for my child.



answers from Austin on

I really understand where you are coming from. Most schools use dry erase boards, and the markers are MUCH more expensive than chalk was. Also, lots of kids like to just draw on the boards and waste the ink.... that kind of bugs me (I work in a middle school and see it all the time). The baggies are really handy, since teachers often store class sets of manipulatives and such in the bags for ease in handing out... but that way, they are re-used frequently throughout the year.

What bugged me, when my kids were in middle school, was that each student was expected to bring a compass, ruler, protractor, and pair of scissors and give them to their math teacher.... I can see having some extras.... but when class size is about 25, and the teacher taught 3 sets of classes, they really didn't need 75 or so pairs of scissors, etc...... one class set plus a few extras should have been enough.

You should have seen the response that I think Riley posted last week to this type of question... a school list they were faced with included a 24 pk of bottle water (with sport tops), 1 lb of ground coffee, a package of boys underwear, a package of girls underwear, and a package of large pull-ups! And..... their child would not be allowed in school if EVERYTHING on the list was not sent in. They could buy the set of supplies for $200 if they wanted... and apparently that was less than the full cost of the stuff. That list was really out of line.

Working in the schools, however, I do see how wasteful some of the kids have become. Maybe we need to get a bit more "minimalistic" in our usage? I'm constantly having to supply pencils for some of the students I work with... they don't bring them from home, or they only bring one or two, and lose them... and expect the teacher to supply what they don't have!

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