H-SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY

Aug 1, 2013 1:40 AM by Victoria Johnson

School supply costs on the rise

The start of the school year is right around the corner. Back to school shopping is exciting for students, but it may put an even bigger dent in parents' and teachers' wallets than last year.

An annual study shows the cost of every basic item has gone up from last year. For example, the basic supplies for a typical elementary school student have gone up one-third, or more than 160 dollars.

"Every year it seems to go up a little bit. It kind of scares me to get the list for his kindergarten supplies," says Carolyn Telles, mother of a kindergartener.

Nearing summer's end, many parents are dreading the cost of back to school shopping.

Huntington National Bank's annual Backpack Index shows an average increase of 7.3% for this year's costs of school supplies. This rate exceeds inflation at 1.8%.

Between supplies and clothes, Telles says it all adds up. "Clothes would be a couple hundred, if not upwards of that."

Compared to last year's supply costs, parents could spend 5.3% more on their elementary and middle school student and 9.5% more on their high school student.

Some schools may supply the basics like pencils, paper and art supplies.

Kelly Kirkpatrick teaches elementary school. She says she spends at least $1,000 a year for her classroom. "It's the little things like the things you do throughout the year, such as projects and labels. You have to buy all of it yourself. If you want certain shelving, you have to buy that with your own money."

However, she says she's noticed some stores offering discounts this time of year.

"Staples has a lot of items for pennies."

She has this advice for parents.

"If you're looking to save money, I'd hold off to see what the teacher needs."

For most students, summer will be winding down soon. For some elementary school students, like those attending Bishop's Peak Elementary in San Luis Obispo, they will be back in the classroom, starting on August 23rd.

To help provide school supplies for Central Coast students in need, you can contribute to KSBY's Stuff the Bus campaign. It begins this Friday.

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