Gearing up for Gouging Prices

Native American student happy with his school supplies and backpack
If you Google the phrase, “Rising Costs of School Supplies,” you will come across a page of recent articles referencing an annual report by Huntington Bank.

Since 2007, Huntington has conducted a Backpack Index to determine what parents can expect to pay to get their young students back to school. The purpose of the report was to help families plan their finances for the school year and to show how technology expectations (calculators, tablets/laptops) increase costs over standard supplies.

According to the survey, in 2015, parents of elementary, middle school, and high school students can expect to pay nearly $3,000 for school supplies and activities for 3 children.

Many parents that shop for their students will likely attest that the lists provided by schools are not always all-inclusive of what students actually need to be “equipped” for their particular classroom. For elementary students, the lists are fairly generic because typically students stay with the same teacher throughout their first five years of school. But once middle and high school hits the budget, there are more teachers and likely more supplies needed for each subject area depending on the organizational preferences of the teachers.

Thank you card

The American Indian Education Fund (AIEF) Program’s School Supplies service does not provide all of the supplies that are listed. However, the items provided do put a good dent in the essentials to start students off on a level playing field.

In 2015 alone, AIEF provided school supplies to nearly 26,000 students for their first day of school! Of these students, 75% also received backpacks. This covered 82 schools in 7 states across 28 reservations in the Northern Plains and Southwest areas of the United States. School supplies were distributed to students in kindergarten through high school.

Students living on rural and isolated reservation areas who don’t have access to discount stores are truly appreciative — with smiles and thanks — to those who help provide and distribute school supplies just when they need them most!

Thank you for caring enough to help
make this important support possible.