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Central Texas parents feeling sting of higher costs of school supplies

Posted at 2:44 PM, Jul 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-25 19:21:08-04

It's no secret that inflation has hit some Central Texas families pretty hard and those with kids are being hit by inflation again.

As summer begins to wind down parents are gearing up to send their kids back to school only to realize that inflation is taking rearing its ugly head yet again when they go shopping for school supplies.

”Right now I added it up and it was going to be about $250 for the school supplies,” said Angela Evans, parent of a Copperas Cove ISD student.

It’s an increase of over $50 compared to last year and not even as much as experts say some parents could pay this year with increases ranging from 8 to 23 percent.

”For people over all income levels ... it averages out closer to 8 percent or 10 percent but, it works out to being roughly $600 dollars per student,” said Dr. Rob Tennant, Assistant Professor of Accounting at Texas A&M University-Central Texas.

The higher cost of school supplies is tied to inflation, supply chain issues, and not surprisingly gas prices.

”With fuel costs, even though they’ve come down a little bit, they’re still at the highest they’ve been in years if not ever,” said Dr. Tennant. “Especially for diesel which is how things get transported.”

That cost gets passed directly to consumers Copperas Cove ISD parent Angela Evens, who said the higher price on everything from rent to food has school supplies completely out of her budget.

”This year, I'm a single mom and I only have one income now and it’s so tight that I can’t even afford school supplies,” said Evans. “I'm having to ask for help.”

She is getting help from friends and family to get her daughter Elena school supplies before she starts 4th grade this year and has a message to parents that don't have that option.

”Take advantage of all the back-to-school bashes that places have," said Evans. "They give out free school supplies."

Back-to-school time is the second most expensive time of year for families and second only to holiday shopping.