This week, students in the Brazos Valley are returning to school.
While public schools may be “free” families share how they are feeling the impact of back-to-school price tags, and Bryan ISD shares how they are helping put those funds towards a great education for kids here in the area.
“We had shoes for everybody,” said Summer Palmer, local Bryan mom. “New jeans for everybody. T-shirts pretty much stayed the same, backpacks, school supplies, lunch boxes.”
Summer Palmer is a local Bryan mom of seven and said back-to-school costs are through the roof this year.
“If you buy the on-sale shoes, those were 50 bucks,” said Palmer. “I think if you add all of that up just for the five younger ones, it was over one thousand five hundred dollars.”
When it comes to supplies alone Palmer said the lists are growing.
“They just keep getting longer and longer the higher grades they get,” said Palmer. “One of the kid’s school supply lists, he needed seven of those composition notebooks. Seven. I hope they use them all year because that’s a lot of composition notebooks.”
Bryan ISD said they try to help families by condensing school supply lists.
“We try to cut down on the supply lists and I’ve seen them decrease over the years because we’re just making sure to accommodate for those items that we need in the classroom instead of buying excess items,” said Melissa Martin, Assistant Director of Finance, Bryan ISD.
Even though Palmer has seen high back-to-school costs, she is seeing a sigh of relief.
“Right now, Bryan ISD is doing free breakfast and free lunch for all of the kids in the district, and we have never been so happy to receive some help from the school,” said Palmer.
To help families just a little bit more this year, the school district also lowered the tax rate.
“This year, we did currently lower our tax rate; however, even though that generates more revenue, it does lower the tax rate, and that way we can keep a steady tax rate for our taxpayers,” said Martin.
“We have a multifaceted approach on making sure not only our teachers but our staff and students are taken care of during the school year,” said Clay Falls, executive director of communications & public affairs at Bryan ISD. “We know times have been tight this year too with inflation, with gas prices, even the grocery stores are a more expensive endeavor than times in the past.”
Falls said the district understands times have been tough on everyone and strive to help families in need.
He said back-to-school events and Stuff the Bus are community efforts that also support local families here in the Brazos Valley.