Schools Help Parents Save Big

SS Member Image By drodriguez 10.03.08
Schools Help Parents Save Big
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As the new school year sets in and we fall deeper in what some economists are calling a recession, many parents are struggling with the idea of buying a whole new back to school wardrobe for their children.  Some school officials in Newark, New Jersey hope to eliminate at least a little of the parents’ burden. 


Newark’s new school’s superintendent Clifford Janey announced recently that he will require more than 30,000 students in various schools across the city to wear uniforms to school starting in the winter of 2009.  The schools will work with retailers to put together a low cost and flexible uniform for the children to wear.  On average a shirt may cost between $8 and $10. 


With the news comes both resistance and open arms from students and parents.  On the downside, children may feel that they can no longer express their individuality at school the same way they had before.  Some children may feel peers who attend schools that don’t require uniforms will ridicule them. 


But it does take a lot of the worry out of getting ready in the morning or feeling insecure about the way a particular outfit may look.  Kids will also be relieved of the pressure of feeling inadequate if they are not wearing the latest designer name jeans.  And for the schools’ staff, it will take the hassle out of enforcing a dress code all day long. 


Some schools in Newark have already implemented a mandatory uniform.  Parents of the Elliott Street School lobbied to have uniforms for the students.  In 2003, the principal of that school, Angel Juarbe, mandated the uniforms.  Juarbe described the success of the uniforms to the Daily Newarker when he said, “It unified the students, promoted pride, helped students resist peer pressure and saved parents money.  That was the big thing, parents could buy one or two uniforms and it was much less expensive than an entire back to school wardrobe.”


What do you think of schools implementing a uniform as a way to help parents save money?


Would mandatory uniforms be something you would like to see in your child’s school?


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  • jbphotonut By jbphotonut

    I live in a rural setting and although I think that the idea of uniforms is good, I can see both sides of the issue. For me, I tend to be a very frugal shopper and will only buy what I can find on sale or from a good second-hand store. If I were forced to only buy to uniform specifications, that would make my shopping more difficult. Plus, as another Mom said I would then have the need to buy two sets of clothing. The uniforms, and then clothing for around the house, weekends and Church. I guess at this point I stand in the anti-uniform line.

  • vtangelgirl By vtangelgirl

    I have mixed feelings. If cost is the motivation I applaud that, but will all have to wear EXACTLY the same uniform, or as some have mentioned, will folks that have more get more expensive versions? My son has expressed aversion to uniforms, but if his school went to a uniform system, we would comply.

  • pam674 By pam674

    My child started middle school this year and this year for the first time the school required uniforms. It ended up costing me more because I usually shop at Ross and buy the designer jeans for around $10 - $14. We have snow here and I can't wait to see what the uniform pants are going to look like after walking to the bus stop this winter. I also believe in individuality. What happened to making kids and parents accountable for their actions? If the kids wore something inapropiate to school send them home or have the parents bring something else for them to wear. A few times of Mom or Dad having take off work to pick up their kid or bring other clothes and maybe kids would have to be held accountable.

  • Kat71 By Kat71

    My boys went to a private school that had uniforms. We loved it. It was khaki slacks and polo shirst. They couldn't have any type of logo showing on them. They never complained about them. I think it was great.

  • Jjapan By Jjapan

    Kids will express their individuality in the shoes they wear or their hair. Our daughter wore an uniform in kidneygarten and she was not teased by her friends that went to another school. It did help us save money.

  • Marci835 By Marci835

    I think school uniforms are a great idea. You save money on clothes and children are not so peer pressured to have the latest and greatest. It definetly makes for a more equal playing field.

  • stxmom By stxmom

    My kids have worn uniforms for the last 5 or 6 years, in the beginning it was polos and khakis, they have since relaxed it to school spirit shirts or polos and khakis. I think the uniforms make our mornings go a little smoother but I'm not sure it saves me any money. My kids now need uniforms and regular clothes.

  • mizleeza By mizleeza

    Thank goodness my kids are grown but they started uniforms in Florida for elementary and middle school which were opt out at first but eventually became mandatory. I personally don't like being told I have to buy certain clothes for my kids and it did cost me more intially, but I do believe in decency not seeing bras and underwear (from either boys or girls), it was not so bad once they did let them have school sponsored t-shirts and could wear jean shorts and jeans.

  • vgil0925 By vgil0925

    My son started a new public elementary school in Orlando Florida this year and parents took a vote and passed the idea of uniforms. Parents who were not in agreement, had the option to exclude themselves and therefore it is not mandatory, but I have to say that I LOVE the idea of uniforms. At least while in elementary. Not only do the children look well groomed, it is a breeze in the mornings, because we do not have to spend hours planning what to wear. I am a mother of 3 and this is a huge plus. The uniforms are not that much more than regular clothing, and it does not matter where you go, you will always have children who will wear name brands and those who don't. Honestly, kids in elementary do not really care about the name brands. My opinion is that uniforms are just more beneficial for the parents. I think it sets good values in an age where kids do not respect or obey any rules. I am all for it.

  • queenb1 By queenb1

    The school that my child attends has a mandatory uniform policy. If the slightest thing is off (ie: boy forgot to wear his belt or girls hair is not secured with coordinated scrunchie) the parents are called to either bring in the forgotten item or pick the child up. They say that it is to prepare the child for entering the work force but this is an elementary school. If the middle school he attends after he's finished her does not require uniforms (and many schools here do not at this time) wasn't htis just a waste? The offer a buy back of the uniforms after the child has outgrown them but it't not enough to help defray the cost of the new ones which we have to order from a company that not located in our state. The children hate wearing uniforms, so the school let's them have "casual Friday's" but they have to earn the right to wear their t-shirts which the parents can only purchase from the school. if the parents could purchase uniforms from cheaper outlets, the uniforms would probably be a good idea. We are fortunate to be able to afford the prices, but we just have one child right now. The school buys back the outgrown uniforms, but they don't offer them at discounted prices to the other parents.

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