We’re used to hearing about the high cost of post-secondary education. But outrageous accounts about the back-to-school supplies list for elementary school these days would have the old-fashioned schoolmarm tsk-tsking.
Happy first day back at school. Good luck on next month’s Visa bill folks.
The growing cost year after year to arm a youngster for a year’s studies has the provincial Conservatives promising some relief should they be elected in the next election – which is sounding more imminent by the day.
Tory Leader Jamie Baillie announced Tuesday that his party would introduce a tax credit of up to $200 for parents to help cover such costs. Both parents and teachers would be eligible under the plan.
That’s not a bad promise – and apparently not one to cause political division, as Education Minister Ramona Jennex, questioned about it, said it sounded worthwhile and the NDP might consider the same idea.
The cost is estimated at a relatively affordable $3.9 million a year.
With parents in Canada, reports Metro Halifax, paying an average of $450 per child each September – this from a BMO back to school survey – some families obviously could use the break.
On the other hand, schools and teachers themselves should be aware of the strain it means and try to moderate the list. One Halifax parent recounted the requirements with stipulations for certain brands of supplies and colours of binders. That makes it a lot harder to seek out a bargain. Perhaps if schools, or school boards, have specific items in mind, there would be an opportunity for bulk purchasing arranged through the boards.
At any rate, Baillie said his party would also work with school boards in an effort to reduce the supply lists.
It might indeed come but once a year, but it’s not hard to see that for a family with two or three children heading back to class, this cost could be a barrier. And as Baillie rightly says, we don’t need any of those when it comes to education.