NBC Connecticut wants to hear from teachers about how much they’re paying out of pocket for classroom supplies and expenses.
Teachers often spend their own money on their students. Many school children and families in Connecticut and beyond started the school year at a disadvantage, without the items they need to learn. Often kids do not have the basic school supplies — pens, paper, notebooks and more — needed to succeed. Teachers find that it can be a struggle to fill the gap without the resources they need.
With the state’s current budget crisis and looming cuts to education, many teachers have questions about how much they may have to spend out of their own pocket in the future.
According to the annual Huntington Bank's Backpack Index, which tracks changes in a representative group of goods over time, parents and teachers got a clearer picture of what is expected to be paid per child during the 2017-2018 school year. For elementary school children, the amount was $662. For middle school students, the cost was $1,001. $1,489 was the expected average for high school students, according to the Backpack Index.
"We designed the Backpack Index as a basket of goods," said George Mokrzan, director of economics for Huntington Bank in a press release. "As we assess the cost annually for the same supplies and fees, we see significant outpacing of inflation. While families can shop around and minimize the burden of buying supplies leveraging discount retailers, brands and personal networks, extracurricular fees for activities like sports and band come at a set price."
Huntington annually reviews classroom-supply lists from cross section of schools from states and the costs of the supplies are determined by selecting moderately priced items at online retailers.
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