Recent research conducted by Washington Center for Equitable Growth shows the long-term benefits of investment in early childhood education, including cost savings in education, human services, and justice system savings, as well as increased tax revenues. By 2050, a universal prekindergarten program would yield $8.90 in benefits for every dollar invested and $304.7 billion in total benefits.
But don’t get too excited yet. Even with free universal daycare, the K-12 related school fees are on the rise. According to the 2016 Backpack Index — an annual look at the cost of school supplies and other expenses gathered by The Huntington National Bank and nonprofit Communities in Schools — the increase is a little over 7%, across all grade levels. Across all three school groups, the average student’s after-school/extracurricular costs will be nearing $739 this year which is almost $50 higher than last year. On average, parents of elementary school children are paying about $463 per kid, while middle school parents will be paying slightly over $629. Finally, you’ll be paying an average of about $1,124 if you are a lucky parent of a high school student!
State budget-cuts and decreses in per-student funding is the driver forcing schools to be creative and to outsource whatever fees they can on to parents tabs. Finding the right school payments app that is affordable and fun could at least help parents avoid long lines at the school front office.