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Lansingburgh school district purchasing school supplies for all students

May 30, 2018 08:17 PM

LANSINGBURGH - Any parent knows that school supplies can add up quickly.

For the first time, the Lansingburgh school district will be buying school supplies for students K - 12 for next year.

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"I think it's tremendous," said parent Jennifer Wilkes.  "So many of us have to spend a lot of money each year for our children to have the supplies that they need for school. So this would be a great asset for us. It's nearly $100 for each of my two children who come here to have school supplies each year."

School officials say they are able to do that because of the amount of state aid, and not at the expense of Lansingburgh residents.

"This particular budget year with the state aid formula, Lansingburgh made out positively. And this is a way we can help our families," said School Superintendent Cynthia DeDominick. "So we've budgeted approximately $57,000. It varies by grade level and building, depending on what the students are required to bring."

DeDominick says they want to ease the burden on families and make sure that all children get all they need without worries about getting supplies or shame for having none. 

It also means the teachers who often reach into their own pockets to provide for their students might find themselves spending on other things, like special projects.

The district will be able to buy supplies at a lower cost than parents would have to pay.

The school district has many children in need. All 2,400 students get free breakfast and free lunch through a five-year federal grant. There are also 170 backpacks full of food from the food bank that go home every weekend.

Parents say school supplies can really add up to hundreds of dollars.

In the past, the community has been very generous with donations of backpacks filled with school supplies.

"We've been able to help our families in that way, but this way, we can really just make everything uniform. Every child will have the same supplies. They'll be there. And it's one less thing the families will need to worry about when they're getting their children ready to come back to school," said Superintendent DeDominick. 

Parents like Wilkes are happy this would help children who are less fortunate.

"If they feel ashamed or even a little embarrassment that goes along with not having the supplies and the box of tissues and the extra box of crayons each year for the students to bring in their supplies, I think that would just eliminate the whole issue," said Wilkes.  "And the supplies will be here and a kid would just need to show up and attend to their school work."

The superintendent says there is no guarantee at this point that they will be able to do this again next year, because they don't know the aid ratio.

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WNYT Staff

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