District Administration - July 2008 - (Page 25)

BACK TO SCHOOL SCHOOL SUPPLIES on a Budget BY KURT O. DYRLI ing wipes, paper cups and hand sanitizer. Verona schools are also asking for parent donations of art supplies and copy paper, and even extra funds, which the district can spend on specific supply needs. “It all adds up,” says Necia Bray, mother of two elementary students. “It’s a highly praised school district, but you have to pay for it,” she says. If parents are unable to supply what is necessary, however, some teachers have to pay for what the district no longer provides. “The more budgets get cut, the more we take out of our pockets,” says kindergarten teacher Jennifer Skibba, who estimates she spends $1,000 annually on supplies. Buying school supplies has gotten expensive for parents, teachers and school districts. T THE VERONA AREA (Wis.) School District, administrators, teachers and parents have recently faced an increasingly common challenge: continuing to provide essential school supplies to their 4,500 students despite $1.1 million in budget cuts. Increasingly dependent on funding from parents, the district has raised dozens of school fees for various student activities and added many items to the required school supply lists sent home every year. In addition to the traditional notebooks and writing tools, parents are also asked to purchase additional items, including plastic bags, disinfect- A Ambiguous Policies Which supplies should be provided by schools as part of a free public education, and which can districts legally expect parents to purchase? No federal guidelines exist on the subject. Instead, most districts look to state laws and legal precedents for guidance. Even at the state level, however, official policies are interpreted differently. The Iowa Department of Education, for example, recently cited state legal cases in articulating its supplies policy, in response to frequent inquiries. The department states on its Web site that “parents sometimes need a reminder that a ‘tuition-free school’ does not mean that schools July 2008 25 www.DistrictAdministration.com http://www.DistrictAdministration.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration - July 2008

District Administration - July 2008
Contents
Editor’s Letter
Letters
News Update
Curriculum Update
Administrator Profile
Conversations
Getting Mobile
School Supplies on a Budget
The Silent Issue
How Well Does This Web Site Work?
New Products
Management Books
Speaking Out
Calendar of Events
Research Center

District Administration - July 2008

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