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Roane Schools to cover school supply expenses

School officials say they will now offer school supplies for every student.
School officials say they will now offer school supplies for every student.(Kim Rafferty)
Published: Aug. 7, 2021 at 10:45 PM EDT
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ROANE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Each fall, before the first school bell ever rings, Michael Marks said its a frenzy to gather school supplies especially in a place where those items are difficult to come by.

“Once that comes out they hit Walmart pretty hard and we have one store here pretty much, so it goes quick,” said Marks.

In Roane County, he says there is one place to go when the school districts come out with their list of school supplies to purchase--but that list is no longer needed.

Superintendent Dr. Richard Duncan said Roane County is footing the bill. The district will purchase all of the necessary supplies for each student this school year.

“Many kids learned from home last year and we were concerned about what was there and we had to send school supplies home with them to make sure they had access to pencils and paper and just some of the basics there,” said Duncan.

It came as a lesson for teachers and administrators, once they discovered not every child had the same access to supplies.

Duncan wants to level the playing field and Marks agrees.

“Because a lot of people get picked on if they don’t have that kind of thing so that helps them out a lot that is appreciated,’ said Marks.

He said especially as families work to emerge from the pandemic, it can tough to afford both clothes and supplies.

“I mean they go through socks just as fast as they do underwear, so that’s how it is,” said Marks.

A change that will also take a burden off of teachers who already go above and beyond.

“One of the things we have gotten wrong in education for many many years is kind of an implied burden on teachers to provide supplies if supplies aren’t available a lot of teachers go out and get it themselves,” said Duncan.

Officials in Roane County also encourage parents to buy some additional school supplies for students to do their homework at home.

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