In an era when school supply lists seem to be getting longer and longer, the parents and students of one local district won’t need to shop for any.
The Whitesboro Independent School District has decided to forgo the supply list and provide its students with the items they will need for the 2018-2019 school year.
Tommie Ruth Fletcher, the president of the Whitesboro ISD board of trustees, said the move is a response to some concerns expressed by parents last year. She said some were upset that teachers were asking for particular brands of products.
Fletcher said Whitesboro ISD Assistant Superintendent of Finance Matt Davenport suggested the district might use a surplus that it had in the budget to purchase all of the supplies for the parents. Fletcher said Davenport had been a superintendent at a smaller school district that had purchased supplies for its students.
Whitesboro ISD teachers were asked to submit a list of needed items at the end of the school year and the district was able to leverage its larger buying power to get the items the teachers wanted for much less than individual parents might have had to spend.
Fletcher said the board and administration at Whitesboro ISD understand the cost of supplies is something that weighs on parents, especially those with multiple children.
Though the exact numbers for the 2018-2019 school year are not available yet, the National Retail Federation said parents were expecting to spend around $114 on back-to-school supplies.
Fletcher said all most parents will have to purchase for their students, at least through elementary, is a backpack and maybe a binder. She said some area organizations work each year to provide back-to-school supplies for children in the district and the board is hoping that some of those organizations might focus on the backpacks this year instead.
It is all aimed, Fletcher said, at leveling the playing field for all Whitesboro students, as much as the board can.