It is the middle of August, but many of my friends are posting messages about their kids heading back to school now. We are a couple of weeks away from starting school with our kids here at home (it is nice to have that luxury), but a recent back-to-school story caught my eye and I figured I would give it a little attention.
As a kid, I don’t really remember the back-to-school shopping lists very much. I am sure we had some kind of list, but it wasn’t the cottage industry that it is these days with the stores having a display full of lists you can take and use as you run the isles of the special section devoted to helping you fill the list requirements. But of course in those days, back-to-school supplies were things like pencils and erasers and protractors and maybe special calculators and things like that in upper grades. Now, the back-to-school list includes things like toilet paper and cleaning supplies in some areas, according to this fascinating aforementioned article:
On the list for pre-kindergartners at McClendon Elementary in Nevada, Tex.: a package of cotton balls, two containers of facial tissue, rolls of paper towels, sheaves of manila and construction paper, and a package of paper sandwich bags.
This is possibly one of the more defensible lists mentioned in the article, outside of the TP requirement, the bulk of this could actually be used by students in the course of some pre-K curriculum I am sure. But some of the reported lists include things like cleaning supplies of various sorts. I know that we are a little less impacted here in North Dakota to this point, but are school districts really in such bad shape that they need to beg their students to bring cleaning supplies? That can’t be planned for in the budget?
Maybe later in the year, they can ask the students to start buying fluorescent bulbs or else they will just have to make sure the classrooms get plenty of sunlight. This kind of craziness makes me appreciate our decision to home school just a little bit more. After all, it just isn’t as weird for us to buy cleaning supplies for our own school instead of supplying them for someone else.
What do you think? Do these kinds of extra school supplies seem out of line to you?