Parents in Prince Edward Island say free school supplies will not only save them money, but also ensure greater equality among students.
In the provincial budget released Thursday, the province announced an investment of more than $750,000 for all public school students from kindergarten to grade 9.
Crystal Vanderaa, a parent who has been shopping for school supplies for years, said it would save her more than $100 a year and reduce the waste parents have at the end of the school year.
It also means that a child’s supplies will be no better or worse than those of the child in the desk next to them.
“I really like that the kids will all go to school on the same playground, everyone will have the same supplies, no one will have anything different,” Vanderaa said.
Heather Mullen, president of the PEI Home and School Federation, agrees and said any help is appreciated.
“I think all parents are feeling the crunch of back to school and all the expense that comes with it, so that will be helpful and also to create some equity within students as well, so that all students who are coming back to school have the same school supplies,” she said.
“It’s always a great way to start your school year too.”
In addition to school supplies, the provincial government also announced free island-wide public transit for anyone under the age of 18. Mullen said this support will help families living in rural PEI.