Despite the fact that people pay an exorbitant amount of property taxes, most of which go towards the local school district, parents find themselves having to dish out a lot of cash for school supplies each year.
This year parents will pay between $637 to $1,355 per child on school supplies and other school fees, according to Communities in Schools.
That’s no small chunk of change. That’s a month’s rent to some people. School supplies list require a different color folder, binder, and/or notebook for each subject along with pens, pencils, highlighters, etc.
But school supplies list increasing request supplies for the entire class, such as paper towels and boxes of tissues.
Items that should seemingly be paid for by the school district.
Back to school shopping can cause a lot of distress and financial hardship on parents. On the other hand, you have so many teachers who are in the same exact boat at the beginning of the school year.
They head to the store just like parents do and fill carts with school supplies for their students which they pay for out of their own pockets.
Leland Michael, a math teacher at Lincoln High School in Des Moines, Idaho, is one of those teachers.
So that’s why he was upset when some parents stopped him to complain about the high cost of school supplies. He wrote about his experience in a post on Facebook that ended up going viral
“I was feeling pretty jaded this morning as two different sets of parents at Walmart stopped me in the school supplies aisle to complain about how much they had to get their kids this year. ‘This is just ridiculous. I don’t know how these teachers think we are suppose to get all this stuff,'” he wrote.
Michael took the comment personally and was highly offended by it.
“As they complained, they seemed to be oblivious to the fact that my cart was filled with a class set of all the supplies they were buying–which should have been a pretty clear indication that I was one of those greedy teachers they were complaining about,” he said.
Michael was left feeling underappreciated and, frankly, insulted.
That’s until another parent stopped to show his appreciation and gratitude for Michael’s dedication to his students.
“While I was checking out, though, things took a very different turn. I noticed the man in front of me in the checkout lane was buying school supplies for his daughter. As he went to leave, he said to me, ‘You are a teacher, right? I just want to thank you for everything you do. I see your cart is full with supplies, and I just wanted to help out as much as I can.’ Then he handed me a $25 Wal-Mart gift card, shook my hand, and walked away with his daughter smiling big at me,” Michael recalls.
Michael was moved by the man’s kind gesture. But what was more important to him was the message the man sent to his daughter.
“The kid whose dad handed me the gift card heard: ‘School is important enough that we should give more than required to make sure it is successful, teachers should be respected and valued, and learning requires us giving it everything we have.'”
But still, Michael says he understands where parents are coming from.
“If money is tight, and you struggle to buy your child school supplies, I understand. Don’t worry: more than likely your child will have a teacher and a school that makes sure they have the supplies they need to be successful this year,” he says.
If you’re struggling with being able to afford school supplies you can find resources that will help you here.
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I was feeling pretty jaded this morning as two different sets of parents at Walmart stopped me in the school supplies…