Back to school means new expenses for parents

(KRON) No more staying up late during the week. Farewell to sleeping in. And, hello homework!

The lazy days of summer are ending for millions of children as they grab their backpacks, pencils and notebooks and return to the classroom for a new school year.

Some facts and figures to know as the new school year begins:

BACK-TO-SCHOOL SUPPLIES

Back-to-school supply costs are expected to decrease this year, but they’ll be offset by higher fees for after-school activities such as sports, according to the latest Backpack Index by Huntington Bank. The index measures the cost of supplies and extracurricular activities.

For the 2016-17 school year, parents should expect to pay:

—$659 for an elementary school child, a 1.5 percent increase compared to last year.

—$957 for a middle school student, a 1.6 percent increase.

—$1.498 for a high school student, a 6.8 percent increase.

The report says higher fees for sports participation, especially in high school, are responsible for much of the increase.

ENROLLMENT AND COSTS

About 50 million students are expected to attend public elementary and secondary schools this fall. That’s up just slightly from the 2015-16 school year, according to the U.S. Education Department. They’ll be taught by some 3.1 million school teachers from pre-kindergarten through high school, with an average student-to-teacher ratio of about 16 students to each teacher. Around 249,000 teachers are new hires this school year.

The growth of charter schools is continuing, with enrollment increasing from 800,000 in 2003 to 2.5 million in 2013, according to government figures. Some 40 states and the District of Columbia reported having about 6,400 charter schools.

The U.S. spends about $11,670 per pupil, on average, on public school education.

About 4.8 million students are expected to attend private school this fall, down slightly from the previous school year.

The National Center for Education Statistics estimates that 3.5 million students, both public and private, will graduate from high school at the end of the school year.

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