Shopping list

How Inflation Can Affect Your Shopping List

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – It’s back to school. It’s time to grab pencils, backpacks and more.

For some teachers, this is a time when they dip into their own pockets.

“This year I probably spent over $500,” said Gabriel Padilla.

Gabriel enters his sixth year at West High School teaching math. He knows that buying school supplies is the key to a successful year.

“We are struggling, and we are in places where the socio-economic status is low. So parents can’t always provide that, and if they don’t get a lot of money to provide, they look to us in the schools to be able to provide that,” Gabriel said.

This back-to-school shopping season brings additional costs with inflation. It may not be as bad as expected, however.

“National average inflation is 9.1%, but education, books and supplies were just 3.7% year-over-year in June,” said Jeremy Hill, director from the Center for Economic Development and Business Research at Wichita State University.

Hill says it’s because of a larger trend, “These schools providing extra school supplies have risen faster than inflation over the past decade, but over the past two years those costs haven’t have not risen as much as headline inflation.”

Many families will still feel the burden of back-to-school shopping, especially low-income families.

“Sometimes it takes more than the district and the schools. You also need the community. If we want to give these children a good education, we have to be able to provide that,” Gabriel said.

Gabriel said many teachers are looking for community support to meet the need. Initiatives like Wichita Teachers Wish List were extremely helpful in doing so.