I feel bad for parents who think that they actually have to buy those "community" supplies. So bad that this year, I am making my thoughts public. I gathered every single list for the schools in the Missoula, MT area because I am angry.
Parents! Why are you weaving through those aisles purchasing FOUR DOZEN #2 Pencils (Hellgate Elementary Grade 3)? Or red pens for the teachers to correct your child's work? Are you serious? Teachers are asking for pens...did the school run out of the 48 red pens that they collected last year? If so, then we should start a conversation on education reform...not school supplies.
Every parent should know that the public school supply list is a suggestion and never a requirement. Schools cannot require a parent to buy these supplies. Yes, you should supply your child with what she needs, but never do you ever have to buy community supplies or supplies for the teacher's personal/professional needs...that is the school district's job. You do realize that public schools receive funding. Maybe if that funding didn't go toward buying laptops and iPads for every student, these very essential items would be available for your students...why are the schools buying these high-tech pieces if they cannot afford to pay for their teachers' red pens?
And should your children be receiving quality instruction from the teacher getting paid, and NOT a device. Haven't we read the studies on children being educated by technology? It isn't pretty.
To fully understand just what parents are having to buy, I'd like to share some of the highlights of these lists...because it's just too much to handle on my own. I must share the ridiculousness that is the public school system.
Hellgate Elementary School:
- Kindergarten: 1 box of gallon-sized Ziploc bags (I'm sure this is for some lady's home canning project...)
- Third Grade: Minimum of 48 #2 pencils (where are the pencils from last year then?)
- Third Grade: Whiteboard markers and Dry Erase Pens, both thicknesses
- Third Grade: 100% Cotton T-Shirt, White
- Third Grade: Earbuds or headphones
- Fourth Grade: Pointed Scissors (as opposed to non-pointed scissors?)
- 7th and 8th Grade: FIVE PACKS of 3" X 3" sticky notes (um...)
Russell Elementary School:
- Mrs. Reneau would like you to bring 48 pencils, 2 boxes of colored pencils, and 4 pink erasers to share. She insists that your binders have no designs...that would be so radical.
- Ms. Judge insists that you bring 24 crayons, 2 boxes of markers, 6 glue sticks, 2 skinny black Expo markers, baby wipes (she must have a newborn), highlighters, sticky notes( again...are the kids leaving memos?), ziploc bags of all sizes...
- Mrs. Gammill and Ms. Molloy want 48 crayons, 12 glue sticks, 2 boxes tissues, EXPO markers, handheld pencil sharpeners (the school must not have any from last year, or just ONE in the classroom), pencils...48 or so...
- Kindergarten: 5 glue sticks, gallon-sized bags, quart-sized bags...an extra pair of shoes that cannot go home...
- Second Grade: Headphones
Rattlesnake Elementary School
- Kindergarten: 2 packs of baby wipes, Headphones, 16 glue sticks...
- First Grade: Jumbo-sized Clorox Wipes...somebody likes to clean...
- Third Grade: Flash drive...
K. William Harvey
- Kindergarten: 3 BOXES of Clorox Wipes, 3 BOXES Snack crackers, Skittles or Mnms (um, okay this is not okay), Paper plates, Brown bags...surprisingly only one stick of glue...most likely because they'll just be snacking all day anyways.
- Third Grad: 4 packages of #2 pencils, Ziploc bags...
As you can see, this is nuts. If a classroom had 16 students and they all brought 48 pencils, the class would have 768 pencils. Are you serious? I can guarantee that 768 pencils did not get used last year...where are those pencils? What happened to the 400 glue sticks?
Mrs. Klein over at Potomac would like you to bring in a minimum of three packs of 24 crayons and ziploc baggies....these teachers must make a lot of sandwiches...or freeze a lot of meat during the winter.
I'm curious. What do you think about community supply lists? Do you provide these materials? Are you standing up for the school system by saying no to these lists? Have you checked to see where the supplies from last year have gone? How much money does your school allocate for supplies? Find out and do something about it. Before they make you pay their salaries too...oh wait, you already are...taxes...
Remember, you are not obligated or legally required to fulfill a school supply list. Buy stuff for your student. They cannot make you buy things for the classroom. Who cares if you are that mom...I aim to be that mom or dad. Stand up for yourself...the government would have you believe that the school system is the authority, but they aren't; you are.