Bad Economy Makes for Strange Back to School Lists

Schools have been hit hard by budget cuts

By Victoria Cavaliere
|  Monday, Aug 24, 2009  |  Updated 5:00 PM EDT
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Bad Economy Makes for Strange Back to School Lists

School supplies get a little stranger this year.

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Reading, writing and... recessionomics?

Notebooks, pencils, ruler, crayons, scotch tape, paper towels, liquid soap, balloons, consumable science materials --  all are part of kids' back to school list in some city schools.

The less conventional items have crept onto the supply list in schools across Staten Island to cope with gaping budget holes, the Staten Island Advance reported.

Many schools, hit hard by severe budget cuts, can't afford to stock up on normal supplies for the classroom. Neither can teachers, who are typically known for dipping into their own wallets to buy needed items for their class, the paper said.

Last year, parents were asked to supply computer paper. This year's list has included items like tin foil, dry erase markers and a dozen gluesticks, the newspaper said.

The list from PS 6 had nearly 80 items, with everything from oil pastels to baby wipes. Also on the list were four rolls of paper towels, two boxes of Ziploc bags and a pack of paper plates, the report said.

"We really will work with the parents," Principal Erminia Claudio told the Advance. "We don't want it to be a burden."

At PS 69 in New Springville, one class' list included a clip board and dry erasers, and a mom said she has spent more than $200 in school supplies for her grade-schooler.

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