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Back-to-School Spending is Big Business

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The National Retail Federation projects that back-to-school spending this year will exceed a whopping $18 billion.

According to the National Retail Federation’s 2007 Consumer Intentions and Actions Back-to-School survey, conducted by BIGresearch, American "families with school-age children are expected to spend $563.49 on back-to-school merchandise, up 6.9 percent from last year’s $527.08 average," the NRF reports. Families will pay about $94 on average for school supplies, but the biggest uptick in costs will come in the electronics category, the federation says—projecting a rise to $129.24 per family this year from $114.38 last year. In the electronics category, Americans will purchase computers, printers, and software, as well as cellphones and other items.

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This is very alarming to me considering that I teach at a school with very low socio economic status. My concern is that our school rightfully pushes the fact that we can't blame any of our students' short comings on the fact that they come from poverty. However, it seems that, with these facts, our students are already coming to us with severe disadvantages as compared to other students in other districts. Our school does what they can to accommodate those students who are unable to purchase materials and supplies needed for school but in the area of electronic supplies or electronic equipment availability our school does not help out enough and in most cases, cannot help out due to financial restraints. This concerns me considering the growing field of technology and how much our students' futures will be influenced by the field of technology. If they are starting out with limited exposure now, how do we catch them up in a school setting and how do we make up for what they are lacking at home? I don't want any of my students to lack the opportunity because of low socio economic status.

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