Today begins the annual sales tax holiday. Families will hit the stores to purchase back-to-school clothing, computers and supplies.
Many schools and teachers mail letters or put on their Web sites the items they expect students to have. The lists include everything from specific types of notebooks and binders to requests for tissues, hand sanitizer, copy paper and other items.
Some families buy all the items. Some don’t. Often teachers use their own money to plug in the holes.
But I wonder what the school supply turnout will be like this year.
With the recession and many families facing tight budgets, I wonder how many parents will refuse to buy items they think the school should supply – like tissues or copy paper.
(Although the hand sanitizer would be pretty useful with all the worries about swine flu.)
At the same time I wonder how many teachers will stop using their own money to pay for these items. Between the furloughs, no raises and increased health care costs, money is tight for educators.
What supplies are you planning to buy? Is the economy forcing you to reconsider what you’re willing to contribute?
STORY HELP: A co-worker is writing a back-to-school story looking at who is volunteering in schools. If your PTA or school has an interesting group — whether it be all fathers or all grandparents or employees from a local company — we want to hear from you. Send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to participate.