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Public School Costs Rising

Updated on September 14, 2015

When I was a child in elementary school, back in the 70's, the only costs we had to pay for public school was for pencils and paper and notebooks. I rode the school bus, and that was a headache to figure out what bus-stop to stand at. We were so excited to start the first day of class with new school clothes on, if we were lucky, and see our classmates!

Nowadays students in public schools have a wide array of supplies that are mandatory in order to attend public school. Some teachers will supply the items for the child if the parent does not have any supplies for their child if asked. However, that is in rare circumstances. I noticed in public school that each year things that the school used to supply, we eventually were asked to purchase now. For example when I was in elementary, the school provided scissors, erasers, glue, rulers, and writing paper for the students. Now the student is required to bring those items.

I have a daughter who is 28 years old and I raised her in public school also. I noticed that more school supplies and school costs were needed each year. When my daughter was growing up in public school the supply list grew to not only pencil, paper, and a notebook folder, but also a school box to hold their own crayons, scissors, markers, eraser, glue, rulers, kleenex, and a backpack that the student had to bring as requirement to attend class. Plus her notebook had to have special tabs. No more wearing the same clothes next year in class or hand me downs! Some public school students have to wear school uniforms, which are not free, and I feel that takes away the child's individuality and creativity by wearing uniforms at such a young age.

There was also a fee for certain classes and field trips for my daughter in public school. Of course I wanted her to go. Her books were still free, however she had to carry twice more books home than I used to. The strain and stress of school is harder on students now. If all the items listed for the school supplies are not with the child within a week of starting school, the child may be at risk of being kicked out of class!

Also, school projects are given more frequently to the children and most require buying supplies for their projects. Some public schools are leaning toward students being required to have a laptop in class, which I think is ridiculous for elementary children. It is not good for their eyes to stare at a computer screen for long periods of time, everyday.

Public education is not free anymore and the school costs are rising each year for students. After low-income parents pay for school costs plus household expenses, many low-income parents do not have the money to pay for extra curricular activities for their child like sports, clubs, school pictures, musical instruments or yearbooks each year.


Other Fees for Parents

It costs to be a member of the PTA (Parent Teacher Association) for parents. There is a membership fee that is required in order to attend. I wanted to be involved but I could not afford the monthly fee. So instead I kept up with the parent/teacher conferences which were helpful to understanding how my child was progressing in the class. There are ways around the rising costs and fees if you look for them.

At least public schools still provide free lunch to children of low income. Some parents whose income is somewhat higher have to pay for their child to eat at school, which adds up daily. They can choose to have the child bring their own lunch to school to save money.

To Counteract the Rising Costs of Public Schools, it would be helpful if:

  • Parents save up money during school breaks for their child.
  • Cut back on spending for the holidays.
  • Shop for school supplies during special sales.
  • Shop at dollar stores for school supplies and backpacks.
  • Ask the teacher for cost saving tips on supplies needed and projects due.
  • Have teenage children take a summer job to help with senior year costs and college prep.
  • Cut back on extra curricular activities.
  • Eat at home instead of fast foods.

Parent Poll

Do you believe school costs for children and school projects are becoming outrageous?

See results
Cast your vote for Amazon Pencil Case and Backpack

© 2015 Ms Quick

Comments and Suggestions on Public School Costs Rising

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    • Ms LaLa2014 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ms Quick 

      3 years ago from Fayetteville, NC

      Thank you for your comment. We all have the right to express our own opinion. I gave mine.

    • Robert Litchfield profile image

      Bob Litchfield 

      3 years ago from Ohio

      In so far as I graduated from High School in 1972, I don't fully remember exactly what school fees were, but I don't ever remember hearing my parents complain much about a lower middle class family it's not like they had tons of money to spare, and would most likely have complained if they had been too high. But with my step sons a few years back I remember getting royally ticked off. Each was being billed $58 for "school fees". When I asked, fees for what? I was told simply "school fees". The boys weren't involved in any extracurricular activities etc. So I aked for and itemized bill of what the fees were for. They looked at me like I had grown a third eye and wanted a piggy back ride to the moon. I was told if I didn't pay this extortion, that my step sons grades wouldn't be posted to their records and they would not receive a diploma. Time to reign this stuff in I say. Identifiy specifically what these "fees" are for.


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