Every child is entitled to a public school education. Yet, despite popular belief, a public school education isn’t actually free. The costs of public schools are constantly increasing. It’s beneficial to students and their families to discover new ways to handle and mitigate these rising costs.

Fees

Public schools are funded through local property taxes on real estate located in the school district. Families that are also homeowners must cope with increased property taxes whenever there’s a shortfall in the school budget. This doesn’t include the donations and mandatory fees that individual schools impose on parents for extras, like smart-boards, internal renovations and new library books.

At many schools, there’s no such thing as a “free lunch”, either. Unless a student’s family has an income low enough to meet the qualification standards for a government-subsidized lunch, families have to pay out of pocket to ensure that their children receive adequate sustenance while they’re at school. This can be a burden on families whose income isn’t low enough for free meals, but who struggle to make ends meet, nonetheless.

Supplies

A month before the start of the school year, families are greeted with grade-level supply lists that could cost hundreds of dollars. Neither the school nor the teachers will provide students with school supplies, so parents become trapped in the bottleneck to buy expensive supplies in a short time period. Pooling money and getting school supplies at wholesale are viable options. Wholesale school supplies can actually be individually cheaper than buying the same supplies at retail.

Additionally, parents with children in the same grade can buy wholesale school supplies in bulk, with each family contributing towards the total price. Even if only one family is buying school supplies wholesale, the extra supplies can be stockpiled for later years or future children, to combat annual price increases.

Extra-Curricular Activities

Many public schools require that students choose extra-curricular activities in middle school or high school. Playing on a school sports team can be extremely expensive, as the school only supplies the team uniform and none of the expensive shoes or protective equipment required to play a sport like football or soccer. Even academic extracurricular activities such as the debate team or the marching band require the parents to pay the transportation costs of ferrying their child to events and competitions.

In conclusion, parents should coordinate with their peers to manage rising public school fees. Considering that the increase in fees is occurring in the context of relatively stable incomes, parents can be assured that they are not alone. Whether through buying wholesale school supplies or choosing the cheapest extracurricular activities, parents can survive the expenses of public school.

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