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Parents Question Increasing School Supply Demands

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School supply list (CBS)

School supply list (CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Bars of soap, two dozen glue sticks and reams of copy paper — not what you’d expect to find in your child’s backpack, but more and more Chicago Public Schools are asking parents to bring items like those on the first day of school.

CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports on why it’s not like the lists of yesteryear.

Rosemary Sierra is on her annual school supply pilgrimage. It’s a long list and one she noticed, is getting longer each year.

That’s an observation many other Chicago Public School parents are making, too. The lists are getting more extensive and increasingly seem to include items like baby wipes, paper towels, Ziploc bags and other things usually reserved for a kitchen or bathroom.

Monique Williams, a parent of four CPS students, isn’t thrilled about some of the items.

“Every year, I notice they’re adding things on there I feel the school should be supplying, like the teacher needs: board markers, erasers, red ink pens,” Williams said.

“I don’t feel that the parents should have to buy those things. We have to buy enough for the kids. Why do we have to buy the teachers their school supplies?”

Adding to the financial strain? Some public schools are asking families for annual donations of $1,000 or more.

“It’s pretty extensive,” says new schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard.

He says funding cuts are making lists, like many out now, necessary. But he says parents who can’t buy all supplies aren’t expected to.

“Principals often have a back-up plan to support children and parents who cannot actually do this,” he says.

And if you think parents are getting hit hard, Brizard says teachers have long been buying supplies out of their own pockets for their students and continue to do so.

“It’s an ongoing issue,” he says.

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