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Back to school: No more back-to-school shopping for parents

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By Pete Smith

If you’re a retailer looking to make some summer sales, you might want to skip the back-to-school sale and start cozying up to the Carmel Clay Schools administrators.

That’s because the school district plans to charge parents a $40 fee to provide elementary school students with all the supplies they need.

“This is a great opportunity to provide savings for our families,” said schools spokeswoman Tricia Reynolds.

The district said in a statement that by purchasing supplies in bulk, it can obtain about a 20 percent price reduction off the standard retail prices.

The schools notified parents of the plan this week via email. It isn’t supposed to go into effect until the 2014-15 school year, but Reynolds said the concept had been tested out in kindergarten classrooms. And she noted that teachers will still have the autonomy to select supplies that are appropriate and necessary for each classroom.

The $40 fee will be added on to each student’s textbook rental and supplies billing.

Supplies to be managed by the district include:

  • supplies like notebooks, pencils, scissors, markers and crayons
  • notebooks and planners sold at the school bookstore
  • recorder musical instruments
  • earphones

The schools said in the email that by managing the school supplies, it would be able to save families time and money, while also reducing waste by reusing supplies, such as scissors and rulers, for more than one year. The program could soon be expanded to the district’s three middle schools, but that won’t happen before the next school year, the district said in a statement.


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