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The cost of going back to school: How much do you spend?

According to the National Retail Federation, families spend around $890 on average for back-to-school items.
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Posted at 6:23 PM, Jul 24, 2023

INDIANAPOLIS – This time next week hundreds of students will be heading back to the classroom.

The start of school comes with the cost of buying school supplies and that can cost you a pretty penny.

“We have two kids people have 4 or 5 – I can’t imagine spending $186 on two and then doubling it,” Fonda Raney said.

Raney and her family were out shopping for the basic back to school essentials. Fonda said she and her family were getting everything from paper to pencils to glue.

“Seeing a huge change in prices and buy 4 sets of headphones for one kid and two sets for another – it’s getting more expensive,” Nate Raney said.

The National Retail Federation says in 2023 on average families plan to spend $890 on everything from clothes – to shoes to electronics.

Last year that number was $864. “You don’t want to spend more than what you really need then it all comes home at the end of the year in packages,” Fonda added.

We wanted to see how much it would cost for some of the must have items in one local school district. That includes: 6 folders with pockets, 2 composition notebooks and one pack of number two pencils – just to name a few. The total cost was near $24.

“I would say almost half maybe – depending on the grade level the year,” Charity Thomas said.

Charity Thomas is a teacher in Central Indiana. She says that nearly half of her students come in without any school supplies.

“I give several backpacks every year to families that don’t have them or can’t afford them,” Thomas added.

Thomas also volunteers at nonprofit Teachers Treasure’s. The nonprofit works to provide teachers with classroom essentials for free so they can help those kids who may not have the basic needs for school.

“That’s why I like coming to Teachers Treasure’s and being able to get things for my students and then it’s not a big deal,” Thomas added.

It’s all in an effort to help those who may not have what they need.

If you are interested in giving back to Teachers' Treasures click here.