I am relatively new to the area so could someone please explain to me why the taxes we pay don't cover some of this stuff!? (this list is for incoming first-grade students at 7 Bar Elementary).

1 box of 24 crayons
1 package of broad tip washable markers (basic colors)
1 pair of Fiskars pointed-tip scissors
1 package of pre-sharpened colored pencils
1 pkg of 24 pre-sharpened yellow #2 pencils
1 roll of paper towels, 2 large boxes of facial tissue
5 pocket folders (solid colors-no characters)
4 beveled pink erasers
6-8 white glue sticks
1 bottle waterless hand sanitizer
1 set inexpensive headphones
2 pkgs of baby wipes
$5.50 for Weekly Reader, $5 for Agenda (?) cash only
5 spiral notebooks, 70 pages, solid colors-no characters, non-perforated
1 4-6 pack fine-line dry erase markers (basic colors)
1 box of gallon size Ziploc bags (girls only), 1 bottle hand soap (girls only)
1 box of sandwich size Ziploc bags (boys only)
1 7-5/8 oz bottles Elmer's school glue (boys only)

whew...

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We had portables at Wherry when I was a kid. Not near a huge subdivision at the time.

Well... you have to have the tax base to build the schools... etc.

I guess you're a fan of the SunCal model. Business in front, party in the back.
I've seen brand new schools start off with portables. Always seemed crazy not to just start off with a bigger building. Is it less expensive to cool off/heat up several small buildings or cool off/heat up more rooms in a big building? I always thought portables were supposed to be temporary until the expansions could be added on. But it just seems the norm to build a school and automatically have 10 portables forever. Poor planning in my book.
Portables are a building, and a reasonable way to deal with providing space for education in a place with a fast growing population. As a teacher, I found portables preferable to some of the "real building" classroom spaces I've been in.

I also remember shopping for school supplies as a kid, and that was in an affluent suburb of Chicago.

On the other hand, as a teacher, I know the supplies are a burden for some families, and certainly a school/district can get some nice bulk discounts. Someone with some spare time can do the math and figure out how much the supplies would cost for every APS elementary school, then make a proposal for where to pull the money from. The current superintendent is moving in a centralized budgeting direction, so the figure should be district overall, and what you'd eliminate elsewhere to pay for the supplies.
I know this discussion is old, but was just re-reading. Of course portables are buildings! Nobody is denying that at all. It's not even really the point. But anybody should be able to tell that their is a difference. Portables are temporary buildings and not part of the main building(s).

In short, they are brought in, because the main building can't handle what was planned for. So the planning wasn't done correctly. The sad news is EVERY school has them. Get the hint builders...build them bigger. Why not plan for the extra room in advance? Wouldn't it be cheaper in the long run to have it all built at once? I think they are planning for the portables right off the bat.

Heating and cooling separate buildings and not planning for the needed space in the beginning when you know it's going to be needed is not very efficient at all on many levels. Cost, space, etc.
My experience growing up was pretty much the same as Brendan's. My family would buy us each a few binders, lined paper, "fun" pencils (the school supplied yellow # 2, but I liked the ones with groovy designs), and a lunchbox. I was simply stunned when I saw my first school supply list here, but I chalked it up (tee-hee, was chalk on the list?) to my kids being in private school. When they entered charter schools, I applied the same reasoning. But it seems to be standard throughout the city - public, private, or charter. (Yes, I know that charters are public, but the formula for funding them has changed over time, which is why I've set them in their own category).

Good point, Mombat, about property taxes - this could be part of the reason for these (to my mind at least) lengthy lists. I know now to budget for this, but the first year it COMPLETELY took me by surprise.
Then again, I did not grow up here, and perhaps it is just a regional difference in what kind of budget teachers get for classroom supplies like kleenex, classroom books, hand sanitizers, ziploc bags, etc.

I don't mind paying for my children's personal school supplies or chipping in for other supplies. I just think that it would be preferable for teachers to get a sufficient classroom budget for these things and other things like books and art supplies, etc.
I think I got my love of office supplies from having to buy all those school supplies for so many years! I loved getting school supplies more than school clothes! It's a ritual I still love when I take my daughter for supplies.

I went to elementary school in the late 60s, early 70s here in Burque and the list hasn't really changed that much. Of course we bought paste instead of glue sticks, watercolors instead of markers. Hand sanitzer didn't exist back then and didn't need headphones or ziplock baggies.
Same here. I'm a product of APS and the list hasn't changed. Boy, how mom and I would fight over the size box of crayons. I wanted the larger box with a sharpener, she wanted the 24 pack. I wanted smelly markers. She wanted just a plain ole box of 8. And we used everything. They all had to have our names on them. They all went into our own desks. Now that we're in a world phobic of germs, we now need to supply hand sanitizer and headphones.
Yep, my mom went back to school when I was an elementary student so we would both get supplies in the fall.
I had mostly boring supplies like Mom of Two, but I would get to pick out a special thing from the UNM bookstore. I loved mechanical pencils, fancy erasers, little notebooks with tiny pencils, stickers and notebooks with cool covers.
I guess as a parent I don't mind having to spend some money on supplies up front, my complaints with school system have much more to do with scheduling, class offerings, food and how information is distributed.
what are your thoughts on the food and how information is distributed?
just curious...
I wish that the district and especially individual schools would make better use of thier websites. Most schools have a classroom by classroom kind of deal with what is on the web and who uses it.
So sometimes information is there and sometimes not.

I would like more schools to offer the salad bar option, more whole grains, fresh fruits and veggies. I know that there are limits on what can be done institutionally but I think it could be better. ALso the cafeteria serves sweetened flavored milk, choc, stawberry and for a while root beer. They claim that kids are more likely to drink it if it presented this way. I see no reason for it and it adds more sugar to their diets. I think it is totally OK for them to drink water.
We are SO on the same page, Mombat! I've been reading some interesting things about schools using some of their space for a school garden, and having good results with getting kids to eat the fruits of their labors. This might be one way to take on fresh fruits and vegetables, since some kids have issues with this.

Re: sugary drinks. My son refused to speak to me for days when I asked his middle school to getting rid of the sodas, etc in the vending machines. To their credit, they changed it and figured out another revenue source.

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