Friday, August 13, 2010

School supplies.

School supplies for three little ones this year. Three. And for one year, this year, all three are in the same school. Ü

Seriously. Who writes a post about school supplies? Me! Why? Because for the last 4 years, our school district has literally been screwing us parents over, taking complete advantage. And I knew it! I knew it, yet I complied. And that makes me very, very angry. Not only with the district, but with myself, as well. I'm the type of person that when I do something I know in my heart I shouldn't, but I do it anyway, I get extremely angry with myself.

I hadn't printed all three separate school supplies list yet this year. Mainly because we were on vacation. However, I was already prepared for the nightmare that was fixing to embark. That said, I was shocked when I was at Walmart on Monday, browsing & picking up some pertinent school supplies that I know would be needed, when I spied a school supply list for our district. I couldn't believe my eyes. Holy. Pickles. For the 1st time in 5 years, there was one list. One list! A generic list, for all elementary schools in our district (typically, each school has their own. Could never figure that one out. We all didn't use the same supplies?), with each grade (K-4). The cherry on top? All information/supplies were listed on one single 8.5x11 piece of paper. So simple, easy to read, I thought I was going to keel over right there in Walmart.

This year, the amount of supplies required were cut in half. I knew we had been purchasing way more supplies than were needed. But I did it anyway (enter growl). Gone are the trips to what I call 'specialty stores'. I use that term because in previous years, numerous items could not be purchased at Walmart, Target, Walgreens, etc. Parents had to make unnecessary trips to Staples, Office Max, Michael's, Hobby Lobby, etc. Why? To purchase required "extra long" pencil boxes. Odd size construction paper. Certain size writing tablets. Specialty erasers. Certain type of ruler. Not only did it take quite a bit additional time to run to 10 different stores, it took more money. Specialty items cost more. And I knew that too. Yet, I complied (enter growl). Why did the children need extra long pencil boxes? The regular sizes didn't work? Are the white erasers really that much better than the pink ones? Etc. Now you can see why I'm miffed. Never in my life should I have been so foolish & done all that (enter growl). And now I know many parents didn't. They were the smart ones. Me, on the other hand, fell for the district's crap hook, line & sinker.

So. Not only have the extra trips suddenly disappeared, but so have the "extra long" pencil boxes. Regular size boxes will now suffice. Imagine that. Also gone are the kleenexes, white erasers (pink are fine! Although honestly, the white are better...shh.), rulers, index cards, index card box, 2 different size baggies, highlighters, glitter, construction paper, permanent markers - & that's just to name some. Previously, parents were instructed to purchase "name brands only". Now there is a little note on the list "Recommended brands provided for your convenience & in no way imply a specific brand requirement". Certain colors/types of folders were required - Bentley informed me they didn't even use all of theirs. Ugh.

Just typing all this out gets my goat. How dare a school district take advantage of parents like they have in previous years. Why did they get away with it for so long? So stinkin' inconsiderate. I don't know how full time working parents accomplished all that was required in the past. I am curious though - why all the sudden changes with our district? I wonder if they had been reported...? I don't know. But I do know I am so much more pleased & as a matter of fact, I was able to complete 1/2 of the school supply list, for all three, right then & there at Walmart. Woot!

Finished up the rest today @ Target. There are some writing tablets I was unable to find. You know what? I'm not getting them. As far as I'm concerned, the school district owes me some money. They can pick those little jewels up themselves, on their buck. Not mine. It has also been brought to my attention that parents have been purchasing teacher supplies, as well! However, we were not told that. I have no problem helping with classroom supplies. But by george, instead of manipulating parents, be honest! Let us know which supplies specifically will not be used by our children. I have since found out that some teachers, in our district, refuse to purchase the teacher's supplies that are on their own children's school supply lists! Baha! The teachers aren't even falling for that crap anymore.

One last thing. When Bentley started Kindergarten, he was so excited to be able to pick out his very own school supplies. We took our time, went to all the required stores, had a ball & let him pick out exactly what he wanted. The color, the size, whatever. So. Much. Fun. Until we took his brand new supplies to school & we were instructed to "dump everything into separate piles, with all the other children's items". After all that, my fresh, excited Kindergartener didn't get any of the items he chose. None. Zilch. Some other child(ren) got to use all of his stuff. I was so heartbroken. I felt so bad for Bentley. Which leads me to this...

We have been told not to write children's names on any of the supplies. You know what? Bullcrap. I bought the supplies. With my (our) money. You purchase the supplies? I'll do what you ask. I buy the supplies? I am plastering my children's names all over their supplies so they get to use their stuff. Never again with this district tell me what to do with my (our) money. Woot! It just feels good to be in control versus being controlled.

And there you have it. The longest-post-ever-in-history-regarding-school-supplies post. I'm sure it bored you to tears but guess what? It made me feel better typing it out. Especially the part where I've made the decision to not purchase the remaining supplies. Ahhhhhhhh. I don't like to be treated unfairly. I don't like to be taken advantage of. I don't like to be told what to do with my (our) money. So if the above happens, you can bet your tush I'm going to repay myself & well, just maybe, get a little revenge while I'm at it. Ü

Happy Back to School!

*This year's school supplies (- writing tables I'm not purchasing) = approx. $55.00. For three children.

*Prior year's school supplies = well over $100. For two children.


Mommy Brain said...

8th grader needs a $100 calculator!!! WTF?

caffeinatedblessings said...

I SO agree with you! I work for a school district and found out that all of the surplus supplies are given to another school in the district that is considered poor. I'm all for helping others out, but I think we should be given that choice! I struggle to pay for three kids' supplies and don't have the extra $$ to be buying supplies for other children at ANOTHER school.

I could go on and on. Oh, and I stopped buying some of the stuff on the list when I couldn't easily find it or it was expensive. Not once, has anyone said anything and come to find out, they already had twenty boxes of Kleenex anyway!

And NO teacher uses twenty packages of dry erase markers in a year!

This year's expense for us are books. The twins are taking dual credit classes which mean they get college credit for the class. The books are college textbooks and expensive. But, I figure we save $$ not paying college tuition!

Myssie said...

Wow! I can remember getting so excited about buying school supplies when I was a's not as fun now. :)

My daughter was not happy about the community dump of supplies in her class either.