Deescalating the Rising Cost of School Supplies

Students around the world miss out on learning because they don’t have the materials they need to fully participate in class. School supply lists still typically include all the usual staples, but now children are also expected to buy laptops and have internet service at home. For American parents, the increasingly digital nature of homework means spending money out of pocket in order to keep up.
People Impacted
$ 654B
Potential Funding
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the problem
Nature and Context

When children don’t have access to all the supplies they need, their academic performance and well-being can suffer. In the upcoming school year, parents can expect to pay $1,017 per child for elementary school students, $1,277 for middle school students, and $1,668 for high school students — all on supplies, extracurricular fees, and technology. These numbers are a significant jump from 2018-2019, when the Huntington Index predicted families would pay $637 for elementary children, $941 for middle school children, and $1,355 on high school students for school supplies and related costs. For families already struggling to get by, this rising cost can make or break their bank, and determine the quality of education the child receives.

Symptoms and Causes

The report found that 62% of elementary school students, 88% of middle schoolers, and 94% of high school students are at least sometimes asked to submit assignments from home via a technological device that uses the internet. But considering that research has found 28% of Americans couldn't afford the internet, and 13% couldn't afford a computer to get them online, that leaves many children without the means for tools considered mandatory to learn.

In public schools, 94% of teachers spend their own money, an average of $469 each, on supplies to support their students and in some cases up to $1,000.

financial insights
Current Funding

Next school year, Huntington Bank will donate 1,000 refurbished devices from desktops to wireless routers to Communities in Schools affiliates to ensure students have the resources to excel.

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