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With federal financial belts tightening, state budgets bursting, and local governments left with less and less, it’s no surprise that education and children are last in line. As a staunch advocate for children, the daughter of a 45-year-careered teacher and a mom who wants her children to have everything, I am ever vigilant and a boisterous critic when our society fails to put the best interests of our children first.

But when I received my children’s school supply list this year, I had to do a double take. Maybe it’s because my household budget is tightening, right along side of governmental ones. Or maybe – dare I say it – school supply lists are a little, well, excessive.

My kindergartner’s list was comprised of 15 different items including such products as band aids, Lysol Spray, Lysol Wipes and Play Doh. My 5th grader’s list was short and sweet, with only 4 different items (though while placing the 72-pack of pencils in her backpack, I wondered, “what will the class do with 1,656 number 2 pencils for the year?”)

In the end, both of my children dutifully brought in every item that was requested. What if I had to actually pay tuition for the quality education that my children receive? Additionally, I have vivid memories of my mother and my aunts, who were also teachers, not only buying countless supplies and books with their own money, but spending countless hours meticulously preparing their classrooms – often without pay. Generations later, my children’s teachers have done the very same thing.

In my view, teaching should be the most respected profession in our society. After all, I like to say, “Children are less than 30% of our population, but are 100% of our future.”

Still, just for laughs, take a look at the kindergarten school supply list:

• 2 cans Lysol spray

• 2 boxes of Lysol sanitizing wipes

• 2 pack of paper towels

• 2 boxes of baby wipes

• 2 large bottles of hand sanitizer

• 2 black and white speckled composition notebooks

• 1 (24 pack) of Crayola crayons

• 1 large pack of Band Aids

• 1 pack of dry erase markers

• 4 pack of glue sticks

• 2 boxes of tissues

• 4 pack of classic color Play Doh (red, yellow, blue, green)

• 1 single pack Crayola colored pencils

• 1 pack of #2 pencils

• 2 hand held erasers

What do you think?

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