Schools Help Parents Save Big

   By drodriguez  Oct 03, 2008

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?


Make a Comment

jbphotonut by jbphotonut | Oblong, IL
Nov 12, 2008

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 | Fairfax, VT
Nov 11, 2008

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 | SUN VALLEY, NV
Oct 28, 2008

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 | Broken Arrow, OK
Oct 22, 2008

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 | Hendrum, MN
Oct 21, 2008

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 | Wewahitchka, FL
Oct 17, 2008

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 | Corpus Christi, TX
Oct 16, 2008

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 | LAKELAND, FL
Oct 16, 2008

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 | ORLANDO, FL
Oct 15, 2008

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 | PENSACOLA, FL
Oct 13, 2008

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.

gbf2004 by gbf2004 | Shepherdsville, KY
Oct 12, 2008

I think the whole idea of uniforms is nuts. I have a son that at 13 is over 6'3" its always been hard to find clothes that fit him but to find a pair of uniform pants that fit properly is just near IMPOSSIBLE. The wealthier kids still get their name brand clothes and the poor kids still get the generics. It doesnt stop the name calling or the bulling. And further more if some of the kids are going to be in uniforms than they all should not just a handful spread out through out the county. And I know this is going to tick some people off but if my child has to wear a uniform, "because it helps the educational process" than the teachers teaching them should also be in uniforms and at one point a local school's teachers did wear the uniforms, until they became uncomfortable for them, sorry the kids are just as uncomfortable as the adults, deal with it like they have to

WJSMOM by WJSMOM | Suttons Bay, MI
Oct 11, 2008

I went to a private school where the girls had uniforms but the boys did not. The idea of a uniform is a good idea but the plan needs to be fair all around.

doodles13 by doodles13 | Bristol, PA
Oct 10, 2008

Uniforms is the best in my opinion. The financial aspect is great and we have recycle uniforms in our school. When you outgrow the uniform, hand in them in to the school and go shopping if need to be. The kids looks so much nicer and groomed. Some of the kids these days the way they dress, look like slobs. We have dress down days and favorite sports teams days throughout the years, so I don't feel our kids our missing out. It is not like they never get to wear regular clothes. People always have to find something to complain about it. Everybody is never happy about everything. Unfortunately that is the world we live in. People complain about everything.

neward by neward | Hilo, HI
Oct 09, 2008

My son goes to a school that requires school uniforms. We love it! We don't have to worry about what he wears to school each day, or what the other kids wear and he keeping up with the current trends! Being trendy/stylish is a non-issue and doesn't destract fromt he purpose of the kids being in school: getting an education vs. wearing the latest styles and being in the "in" crowd. We actually go get away with 3 shirts and pairs of shorts/pants. We do have to do a load of laundry during the week, but we would be doing that anyway without the uniforms. I have saved some money this way. I also talk to other parents who have older kids and if they have uniforms that their children have outgrown and are in good condition, I offer to buy it from them (passing my inspection of course) and this saves me even more from having to buy brand new. I am working of starting a "used uniform sale" day with my PTA for next school year. This way everyone will be given the opportunity to save some money and/or make some money doing something we have to do anyway... buying school uniforms.

halfchina by halfchina | Orlando, FL
Oct 09, 2008

I do not agree with uniforms, it can help parents with buying new clothes each year or it won't. If you have a child that grows each year, you are still spending money. I also think that I would not want my child to then use those clothes to play in, which would cost me more money since I would have to purchase a seperate wardrobe just for that. I understand it will assist the teachers with dress code, but that needs to start in the home first and parents need to be held accountable. More involved parents accounts for children actually feeling responsible for their actions.