FORT PAYNE, Ala. (WAFF) - Back-to-school costs get more and more expensive every year, according to the National Retail Federation. To help parents with that financial burden, the Fort Payne City Council approved a budget to pay for all school supplies for the city school system.
An allotment of $150,000 was given to Fort Payne City Schools to pay for all student supplies. Each year the council budgets $50,000 for teacher supplies, but extended the offer to students as well this year.
The school system spent between $45-$50 for each students supplies.
“A supply list went out but it said at the top of it that you don’t have to buy these supplies thanks to the Fort Payne City Council for their donation to the schools," said Council President Brian Baine.
On average, the National Retail Federation reports parents spend $696.70 on elementary, middle and high school students. That’s up from $684.79 last year.
“A person that has two, three or four kids in the school and they have to go buy those supplies for every kid, it can get quite costly," said Baine.
Jennifer List, principal at Williams Avenue Elementary School, calls this move by council ‘huge’ for the school system.
“It’s a real blessing for this community," said List. “I had a new parent come in today and he was just like, ‘Really?’ He was thrilled. He says, ‘That is just unbelievable.’ It is a really gracious opportunity.”
Each school will distribute the supplies differently. List says Williams Avenue will piece together a package for each student that will be given out day one of classes.
“We feel it is very important to sow into the lives of our youth," said Baine. "They are our leaders of tomorrow.”
Baine says the council hopes to continue this service in the future, and hopes other cities will get on board.