School supply sums surge impacting budgets of ND parents and teachers

Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 5:02 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - As the new school year approaches, parents and teachers are beginning to buy pencils, paper, and calculators. However, inflation and price increases have some looking for creative ways to stretch their budgets.

Some kids and parents are dreading heading to the stores in search of school supplies, but for different reasons. Inflation has driven prices up on just about everything and school supplies are no exception.

“Nothing too earth-shattering, I mean I feel like some things were probably a little more expensive than in the past years more relating to clothing,” Bismarck Public Schools occupational therapist Jessica Smith said.

Sherry Furcht, owner of Arrowhead Plaza Drug has had to mark up prices by 15-17% in her store. Due to increased shipping costs, she now must raise prices to make a profit.

“We will get a shipping charge plus an extra surcharge on top of it right now, so it is also double shipping charges on things. We are hoping there is some relief in sight and prices will go back down again, but that is everybody’s guess,” Furcht said.

According to the National Retail Federation, back-to-school expenses have risen 41% since 2019. This increase impacts parents and many teachers who pay for classroom necessities out of their own pocket.

“In the OT department, we are looking at alternative seating or different sensory equipment. I feel like that has definitely gone up, especially in the shipping cost,” Smith said.

Smith spent around $250 on school supplies and clothes this year for her son Jack, who will be in the fourth grade in the fall.

“I like science, but it all goes downhill from there,” student Jack Smith said.

The National Retail Federation estimates that $864 will be spent on clothes and school supplies per household this year. Bismarck Public Schools starts the school year off on August 25th.

Copyright 2022 KFYR. All rights reserved.