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Supplies and Demand

It's back-to-school time again, but many students will need to come to class prepared with more than just pencils, paper, and binders, The New York Times reports.

In tough economic times, schools are asking students to bring in additional supplies that teachers and students need to get through the day: paper towels, Clorox wipes, toilet paper, garbage bags, liquid soap, Kleenex, Ziplocs, etc. Large budget cuts mean that schools can no longer afford to provide these basic necessities. Malcolm Thomas, the superintendent of one Florida district, explains to The Times what all teachers already know: If parents can't chip in, teachers often pay for supplies themselves. Thomas says his district "would probably have to get into cutting personnel if [it] had to supply absolutely everything."

So we can choose: tissues or teachers.

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