LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Huntington Independent School District revealed their reasoning behind their school supply lists, and Lufkin Independent School District says it's no different—budget and funding issues are the culprit.
"The reason that they do ask for all these different school supplies is because with all the budget cuts we obviously don't have the money to cover all of these supplies for students and so that's why we ask the parents to provide the school supplies for them," Sheila Adams, the director of communication and public relations for LISD, said.
LISD says they are trying something new this year called streamlining.
"We streamlined the school supply lists to make it easier for parents. We have it on our web site, and it's just one district wide school supply list. Now, there might be some additional items to purchase later on. But at this present time when you go to Target and Walmart with this school supply list, that's all you should need," Adams said.
The Kindergarten through Fifth Grade supply lists are relatively short, but the lists for the middle school are very long.
"The thing about the middle school and high school as well, those lists are going to be a little different because some of the classes they take are very specialized. For example, if you look [at the list] the magnet class is going to need a couple different items that you wouldn't normally need in some of the other classes," Adams said.
Each of the middle school lists calculated to be around $70 per student and with a school of nearly 3,000 that's around $200,000 the school is receiving in school supplies.
Some of the items on the list include: 6 sewn composition books (no spirals), 2 packages of map pencils, 4 rolls of scotch tape, a 12-pack of twistable map pencils, and 5 glue sticks. But Adams says all the supplies listed are essential.
"Anything that is on the list has been required by the principal at Lufkin Middle School and he has reviewed the list to make sure the items are definitely needed. They did take away some of the items that we're not necessary and pretty much just focused on the ones that he needed throughout the school year," Adams said.
Adams says it is recommended for each student to obtain those items on the lists during the first week of school. But she understands some families do have financial concerns.
"We don't want parents to stress over the list and if they cannot find specific things. We have tried to make the list where they are not very specific in looking for a specific brand that if you even look at the list, it's very nonspecific and very easy for them to find items in our local stores," Adams said.
She did say that families who do need added help can look to outside organizations for help. The Junior League of Lufkin will be having a Back to School Bonanza on Saturday, August 3 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at First Methodist Church. The bonanza will offer free backpacks with school supplies, updated immunizations, vision screening, and haircuts for kids in Kindergarten through 1212th grade.
The Women's Ministry at the Diboll Civic Club will also be offering free supplies on August 3 at Eastview Pentecostal Church at Loop 287 and Paul from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Adams says LISD will have their administrator's retreat where principals will get together to determine if there are going to be any other needs for school supplies.