(03/15/19) The El Dorado School District wants to cover the cost of school supplies for its kindegarten through 4th grade students. Instead of having struggling parents pay for a long list of school supplies, administrators are asking the community to split the bill.
“It’s just a lot of the things students have to have that we typically ask for parents to pay for and it’s always been that way across the country,” said District Superintdent, Jim Tucker. “If there’s something we can do, why don’t we do it. We’re going to try.”
So he and others with the district will try and partner with local business, organization and individuals to help pay for basic school supplies.
“Paper, pencils, crayons, markers and then you can’t forget the kleenex and the germx,” said Prinicipal Michelle Henry.
Henry is the principal at Yocum Elementary. The district has 1,620 kindegarten through 4th grade students. Equipping every child with a year’s wortH of supplies would cost between $25,000-$30,000.
It’s a costly expense but the superintendent believes the kids are worth it.
“A thousand dollars, five thousand dollars or $20 dollars, I think anything would help,” said Superintdent Tucker.
The district wants to focus on these particular grades because they’re always needing the most supplies for different class projects.
“You typically see that you need more school supplies in K-4 because you get into construction paper, glue sticks and scissors,” Superintedent Tucker said. “When you start moving up 5th through 12th grade, you need a binder, paper and pencils. It’s not as cumbersome or burdensome as it is at the elementary level.”
The volume of school supplies and the cost can be a heavy burden for not just parents, but teachers.
“Teachers have a $500 spending budget that’s allowed from the state of Arkansas for instructional materials,” said Principal Henry.
Every teacher depletes that amount in addition to the $100 that is given from the district.
That chunk of change goes fast, considering the number of students in a classroom and the amount of material they use each day.
“Even if all of the children bring everything they need, they’re [teachers] are still going to have to spend money out of their own pocket,” she said. “So for all the students to have everything would help tremendously.”
If your business or organization would like to help shoulder the costs, contact the district’s administrative office.