Ponte Vedra schools begin next week, making this the whirlwind week before school starts. I knocked out one of my least favorite activities of the year today at Target – school supply shopping. I assumed everyone hated it, but funnily I have spoken to several parents who love it…and their kids love it. With two boys, it’s hectic and agitating. Where are the Ticonderoga pencils? Will Up&Up pencils not do?
Every year I bitch about how much stuff there is on the list. A second grader needs 48 crayons? A fifth grader needs 36 pencils? The grand total came to around $100 for two kids.
As I got ready to write a humorous post about how much I was spending and needing to take out a loan to fund school supplies, I decided to look up some data on school spending. Did you know that this year St Johns County has a little over $6,900 to spend per student, according to Darrell Collee, Budget Director for St Johns County Schools. That’s down from around $7200 in 2007. To give you some perspective, the national average per student expenditure is around $12,000. Good gravy!
According to the 2013 Census on Publication Education, Florida ranked 44th out of 51 states (including DC) in student spending. Ouch. Please see page 11. I would screen cap it, but my computer screen isn’t large enough to capture #1 and #44 in one screen cap. Take that in for a second.
Bottom line, for me and anyone else out there who wants to make jokes about taking out a loan to get school supplies, is, feel free to feel agitated about your spoiled child asking for a new backpack or an iPad, but shell out the dineros for supplies and maybe even buy extra. If not, your teacher, whose starting salary is $38,000 or his/her associate teacher, who makes just over $26,000, will likely be buying supplies for them.
With all this said, there’s no need to pack up and move. Ponte Vedra schools rank #1 on the education front for the state (for facts click here) in spite of the budget, which is a testament to our hard working teachers and staff. Plus, there are the power house PTOs that work to supplement your child’s education dollars. More on that tomorrow!