How much do school supplies cost you?

Aug 15 2019 | 02:08 PM

It's back-to-school season, and parents around the country are taking a look at their children's school supply lists — lists with everything from pencils or paper to $100 graphing calculators, classroom tissues, and other classroom essentials. Together, these items can cost hundreds of dollars.

As a mother of two, I personally know the financial burden of back-to-school shopping. This year it is estimated that parents nationwide will spend an average of nearly $700 per child on back-to-school materials, according to the National Retail Federation. In addition to parents' costs, teachers spend their own money on classroom items, or fundraise from the community to be able to provide them. The cost of project materials, books, pencils, and paper, and even furniture quickly adds up, but they are essential to students' ability to learn.

But it doesn't have to be this way. New York State owes its public schools billions of dollars in classroom operating aid, funding that, if distributed, could help ensure that every child has the classroom supplies and resources they need for a quality education.

Help us show how New York is passing its obligation to parents and teachers by underfunding our public schools. If you purchased school supplies for your children, your classroom, or donated to a local school, post your back-to school receipts and school supplies lists on social media and tag @AQE_NY or Alliance for Quality Education.

Parents and teachers should not have to bear the cost of basic classroom supplies; schools should be able to provide them so that every child has the resources they need to learn. New York State must fully fund its schools.

Marina Marcou-O'Malley

Alliance for Quality Education

The Alliance for Quality Education is a statewide Ncoalition whose stated mission is "mobilizing communities to keep New York true to its promise of ensuring a high-quality public school education to all students regardless of zip code."