Monday, August 13, 2007

School Supplies Redux

I know, I know, I mentioned this last year. But lots of my readers are new! They haven't had the opportunity to listen to me going on and on about buying school supplies! Maybe, if you're all lucky, this will seem normal to me by next year.

Here is the list of school supplies for 2nd graders at Baxter's school. Now, you know I love me some office supplies, but even for the likes of me, spending $100 on this stuff every year seems a bit much. And imagine having 2 or 3 kids in school at the same time! Remember, this is public school; for some families this $100-$300 is a much greater hardship than it is for us. But it's required. Note that at the bottom of the sheet, there's a strong request for us to "donate" a few things; I had to ask bitterly as I was shopping, "And what is all this other stuff I just put in my cart, if not a donation??"

Of course, I know that if parents didn't take care of these supplies here in Illinois, the teacher would be purchasing them herself. It's not her fault that we have to buy so much, it's obviously a school funding issue.

In San Francisco, families aren't asked to bring a single thing to school - they may not have a fabulous school system, but somehow they were able to come up with some pencils and paper, for goodness sake.


Christopher Tassava said...

This is truly staggering. I've been thinking about your Flickr picture all morning, in part because I'm so surprised and annoyed by the "donation" thingy for nursery school, and in part because, wandering through Target the other day, I saw the massive school-supply section with all the lists of required items for the schools around here. I don't think we ever had to bring anything except our damn selves to school, did we? When did this shift occur, that our society decided that it couldn't even pay for basic school supplies?

Shan said...

This issue is totally maddening to me. I'm already upset that I have to buy a couple of folders and a box of Kleenex for Julia's nursery school. If we have to pony up $100 worth of supplies when she starts kindergarten--and another $100 when Genevieve joins her--I'll have a conniption. But yes, this is common practice here too (I don't know if it is $100 worth every year, but in MN I've heard the same stories about having to provide supplies), and yes, it's because the schools don't have enough money to provide those things themselves. AAARRRGH!!! (By the way: what does the school do if a kid's family can't afford it and just doesn't bring the stuff?)

kristen said...

Looks a lot like our list for first grade. The thing that kills me is that they are very specific about folders "3 plastic folders, one red, one blue, one green" and then vague about paper "one package colored paper." Um okay. Construction paper or copy paper? One color or a mixed pack? If one color, can it be any color?

We were at Staples the other day and parents were literally prostrate in the aisles, bickering with their kids and demanding to know what defines a glue stick as "large" and whether or not the green composition book is the same as the black composition book...

I hate school. Have I mentioned this?

Cara said...

Yikes!!! And they make you friggin' SHARPEN the TWENTY FOUR pencils you have to bring?!? When I was a kid it was a TREAT to sharpen a pencil at the wall sharpener, and even BETTER if you were the lucky girl who got to empty that bad boy for your teacher.


What is this world coming to.