RANT: The Price of School Supplies

SUBTITLE: What The Hell Are You Mad At?

I just finished reading a rant on the cost of back to school supplies. It was a pretty hot button topic. I thought I'd put my 3 cents out there.

Yes, it's pretty darn expensive buying school supplies for a middle schooler. They have 7 classes and they change the rotation 3 times a year. Things like 2 " binders for each class can get expensive not to mention I usually have to buy 10 project boards each year. Reams of copier paper aren't cheap (when it's 1 - 2 reams per teacher) and expo markers, Kleenex and hand sanitizer can break the bank.

BUT...I sacrifice a starbucks latte or two and brown bag some lunches so that The Princess can get her supplies. I spend the extra few bucks and send some extra supplies to the teachers when I can. Yes, I know that it's expensive but guess what? You get what you put into it.

Having children is not cheap and it has never been cheap. Why should school supplies be any different? I understand that there are parents that just cannot afford it. That's why I send an extra case of paper and pencils to school. I'm not fussing at those parents. They are doing the best they can with what they have. But, there are some parents out there that simply believe the school system should do it all. You want to pay less taxes and get free lunch and school supplies? From where?

My aunt was a school teacher for 30+ years and I remember her spending hundreds of dollars on supplies for her students. Hell, she bought a used copier for the foreign language lab. She would spend hours at the school supply store buying flashcards and construction paper because she wanted the best for her students. She spent her own money on markers and pens and pencils. But, you know what? Not all teachers have the extra money that she had.

You don't want to spend the money on school supplies for your kids? Fine. Don't. Petition a local store and see if they can donate to you kid's school or class. Have an extra bake sale or calendar sale to pay for copier paper. Heck, sell cans off the street so that the teachers have expo markers. Don't complain about the cost of supplies and then leave it alone! If you get mad GREAT! Then do something with that anger!!

Call your local representative and get more money in the school budget for supplies. Tell you what. Do one better. GET MORE MONEY FOR MORE TEACHERS! Your anger shouldn't be at the teachers for asking for supplies for your precious children. Your anger should be converted into energy...energy used to attend PTA meetings and parent/teacher/student conferences. I often find that the people that yell the loudest haven't seen the inside of the school building other than the day that you register your kid.

Yep, that's my 3cents. If you agree then by all means post. If you disagree, post - but post decently. If you don't, well sweetheart, this ain't an "equal opportunity" blog. If your comment is rude or nasty - it will not get moderated.

Still mad? Then swing past a local children's home and take a case of school supplies to them.


  1. Thanks! As a teacher, I appreciate your understanding of the importance of school supplies. Your child's school supplies will last her throughout the year. I agree, it is worth forgoing a Starbucks or two. Great post!

  2. Isn't it funny how when you put it in perspective (three Happy Meals at McDonald's = 30% of the school supply list) it doesn't seem so bad. I've heard that Wal-Mart has a day or two where there's no sales tax in some states.

    That's a help right there. Naturally they don't do this in Michigan, but it would still be nice if it's available.

  3. carad - thanks for the comment and thanks for being a teacher. I'm giving you a gold star for the week!

    cardiogirl - we do have tax free days and they are nice for things like computers and big stuff but for a pack of paper, I'd rather not deal with the crowds. The sales have begun so I get a little bit each week.