As the school year fast approaches parents, students, and teachers are seeing the rise of prices in back-to-school supplies, but hardly any relief from the economic recession. South Carolina offers tax-free weekend which allows the state to suspend collecting sales tax on specific products such as school and office supplies, clothes, and technology. The tax free weekend looks like a valiant effort for South Carolina legislature, however; what savings are there if retailers increase the prices of these goods during the tax free weekend? Teachers still suffer because districts are not handing out supply checks to help with the basic classroom expenses they once did. Some teachers are also losing their salaries through the district’ s furlough. Teachers are now left with the burden of providing the maximum potential for learning on budget. Shopping for deals and bargains press back-to-school customers to collect coupons and await opportunities such as tax-free weekend.
In addition to shopping, schools are provided parents with lists of materials for children attending elementary and middle schools in the local districts. The intention of the materials list is direct what parents buy for their students in order for them to have a successful school year. At least that is what the school wants parents to believe, however; the real intention behind the materials lists are to help the teachers save money because they are not receiving supply checks. The supplies that are purchased by parents are supposed be kept in the classroom until the student needs them. The reality of the supply list is the fact, that there are students in South Carolina that will return to school with no supplies at all. So now it left up to the schools and community to join forces in order to meet the learning needs of the students for the upcoming school year. Throughout the state there are back-to-school bashes to offer supplies, clothes, haircuts, and medical screenings in local communities that cost little or nothing. As a community these opportunities need to be publicized frequently and thoroughly as possible.
Though we are all feeling the squeeze of economic recession, we must be willing to find what is required to meet the learning needs of our students. Shopping online, buying in bulk, and using coupons could save parents, students, and teachers some money while preparing for the upcoming school year. Parents, students, and teachers are also encouraged to find local back-to-school bashes sponsored churches and community members to help lighten the load of purchasing school supplies.