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Cost of back to school supplies hurting families

GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin youngsters go back to school in just over a month – and some parents are surprised by the growing list of supplies they have to buy.

Brenda Salaj of Seymour said back to school items used to cost $100, including clothes. Now, she says it’s more like $500.

FOX 11 checked the shopping list that Salaj received from an intermediate school in Seymour – and everything on the list cost about $103. That includes 60 pencils, four packs of Expo dry-erase markers, a backpack, and gym shoes.

Seymour’s administrator says they’re trying to keep registration fees as low as possible.

FOX 11 also talked to two Wisconsin Rapids teachers who went to a Green Bay store to bulk up on supplies.

Melanie Pierzchalski said many school budgets don’t pay for classroom supplies anymore. That means parents now have to pay extra for what they used to get as part of their taxes and-or fees.

Salaj asked why teachers demand higher-priced brand names. Pierzchalski said brand-name items last longer, and can save parents money in the long run.

School officials say parent-teacher organizations can help provide supplies for parents who cannot afford the cost. A number of charities also have free give-aways.