Cost of school supplies high for parents and educators

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – With class starting for Albuquerque Public Schools schools next Monday, teachers and parents are busy scrambling to get ready, and the preparations come with a big price tag.

The school supply lists are different for every school, but they ask for everything from dry erase markers, to watercolors and even sandwich bags.

Samuel Ortiz has four kids, three of them are in school. He says he spends upwards of $180 just on supplies. “That’s not including clothes, shoes or other stuff the kids need,” said Ortiz. He says the price goes up as his kids get older.

Ellen Bernstein, the President of the Union, says teachers are also spending a small fortune. She says they spend anywhere from $100 to $600.

This year, the state gave more than $300 million to public education, but Bernstein says the extra money won’t help teachers with those added expenses. “A lot of that goes towards textbooks. It doesn’t go towards a lot of things I buy when I’m getting ready to teach first grade,” said Bernstein.

Some schools offer a more convenient, and often more affordable way to buy those supplies. Ventana Ranch Elementary offers a kit that you can pre-order online with everything your student might need. Those kits are delivered to the student’s seat on the first day of school.

Not every school participates in the school supply kits program. An APS spokesperson says each school decides on their own the best way for families to get the right supplies for their kids.

The price of the kits varies depending on the class. One couple says they saved at least $50 by buying the kit, instead of shopping for supplies on their own.

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