Teachers Are Not Trying To Steal Your Money By Making You Buy School Supplies

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school supplyI don’t have children of school-age yet, but I am familiar with buying school supplies from my grade school years. I also have two toddlers in a half-day daycare program, where we pay a biannual fee for arts and crafts supplies. Any time I have had to pay for these supplies, I never thought twice about it. Squabbling about the cost of glue used to entertain my child with crafts during the day does not compute. Parents who disagree and even complain about the cost of school supplies or the school supply fee need a reality check.

One Huffington Post blogger witnessed what she assumed to be a well-off mother and her daughters complaining about the cost of EXPO markers on the school supply list. The mother was paraphrased as saying, “I’m not paying $6.79 for them. Then we would be giving them four extra markers. I’m not doing that. This is just ridiculous, they can buy their own markers if they want to use them.”

According to the Huffington Post:

The National School Supply & Equipment Association (now the Education Market Association) did a study last year on this very subject. Public school teachers spent $1.6 billion of their own money to buy school supplies to do their job. More than 99 percent of all public school teachers said they’d used their own funds for supplies, spending an average of $485 per person during the 2012-13 year. This is how it was broken down: $149 for school supplies, $198 for instructional materials, and $138 for “other classroom materials.”

While I have close friends who are teachers, and I know that many Mommyish readers are too, I was shocked to hear this. I’m sure this is not a new rant, but it seems ludicrous to me that teachers already are not paid enough and also shell out $485 on average to cover school supplies out of the kindness of their hearts.

The Huffington Post blogger broke down her average cost of school supplies for her two children per day, totaled at $343 for the school year. The daily cost was $0.97 cents to support teachers providing instruction for seven hours per day.

Parents who are complaining about school supply expenses don’t know what they are talking about. I was homeschooled for a time in my young life, and I know that my mom was, of course, responsible for all school supplies, textbooks, workbooks, lesson plans, meals, etc. I highly doubt our daily cost averaged at less than a dollar per day, even back in the 80s.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from the Internet, parents can and will complain about anything. But when it comes to complaining about school supplies and placing the burden on the teacher, get a grip.

(Image: Odua Images/Shutterstock)