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Parents and teachers navigate record-breaking high cost of school supplies

pencils for school.jpeg
Posted at 5:53 PM, Aug 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-25 15:23:47-04

It’s time for back-to-school shopping. Parents say they’re feeling pain in their pockets as they brace for the most expensive year yet, with record prices.

“Everything is either out of stock or priced outrageous,” said Amber Colburn.

Colburn is out doing some back-to-school shopping for her three kids.

“Just the basic stuff—notebooks, crayons, 12 glue sticks,” said Colburn.

It doesn’t look like that much stuff, but the total price of it all?

“Was three hundred and forty-three dollars,” said Colburn.

A hefty total, but she says she wasn’t surprised.

“Usually, it’s like a hundred dollars more than it was the year before,” said Colburn.

According to the National Retail Federation, back-to-school spending could hit a record $41 billion, up 11 percent from $36.9 billion last year.
These record-breaking prices aren’t just draining parent’s pockets, but also teachers'.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, on average, public school teachers spend nearly $500 dollars on supplies without being reimbursed.

“There’s just more and more items kids are expected to have,” said Ashley Davis.

Davis is a teacher at Gallatin Gateway School. She says she feels extremely lucky that the Gallatin Gateway Schools Foundation supports teachers and helps supply them with whatever they need.

The foundation allows teachers like Davis to create an Amazon wishlist.

“We can put anything we need on there,” said Davis. “This year, I got a sewing machine for my art class and liquid chalk.”

Colburn says she’s glad to see teachers in the community get some relief when it comes to dreaded back-to-school shopping.

“The teachers need all the help they can get,” said Colburn. “They put up with so much and should never have to cover the cost of our children’s supplies.”