Home > Uncategorized > The Economic Divide Impacts School Supplies… MAYBE That Will Get the Attention of the Oligarchs

The Economic Divide Impacts School Supplies… MAYBE That Will Get the Attention of the Oligarchs

Earlier this week the NYTimes Rachel Adams wrote an article describing the latest manifestation of economic inequality in her article titled “Back-to-School Divide: $195 Hairbands and $1 Glue Sticks“. While the focus of the article was on the business aspect of back-to-school purchases (back-to-school “season” is second behind Christmas), the article repeatedly underscored the widening gap in affluent districts and districts serving children in poverty and the methods various stores are using to match their products with the expectations of parents.

Supply lists can vary widely — it is not uncommon to see USB flash drives, graphing calculators or pocket dictionaries in many wealthier districts. And budget cuts have forced many schools to rely more on parents for what would once have been considered essentials: things like construction paper, tissues or pencils.

But the list of “needs” can include many high cost items that are clearly frivolous:

A growing list of designer notebooks, luxury desk accessories and even beanbag chairs now caters to wealthy back-to-school shoppers. Shoppers can buy a $195 Gucci headband, a $572 Versace backpack and a $28 Terez pencil case on the back-to-school section of Saks’ website. Restoration Hardware has a new “teen” line that includes a $2,000 “riveted aluminum” desk and $250 faux fur beanbag chairs.

So while some parents who qualify for food stamps are asked to but pencils, paper, and crayons, children in nearby zip codes are asking for “necessities” like a “…$195 Gucci headband, a $572 Versace backpack and a $28 Terez pencil case.” I read this and wonder: do the parents of the children spending thousands on headbands, backpacks, and USB drives so their children can load their schoolwork onto their home laptop think money doesn’t make a difference?

Advertisements
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: