Helping more children succeed

As any parent knows, sending a child to school – public or private – has a lot of associated costs. And this year, those costs have reached record levels, with back to school expenditures estimated between $1,000-$1,600 per child.

For the millions of kids in the U.S. walking through the school doors at an automatic economic disadvantage, the financial burden is often just the beginning. Kids in poverty may well be grappling with a host of other challenges like hunger, increased bullying, inadequate sleep and exclusion from extracurricular activities. This burden affects these students’ teachers as well, who are underpaid, yet 94 percent of them dip into their own paychecks for everything from pencils and food to classroom carpeting.  

It’s not surprising to learn that a big part of the increased costs of going back to school are associated with technology. Pencils and glue are one thing; computers and a reliable internet connection are now just as indispensable to keeping up in the classroom, and far harder to afford.

As the country heads into a new academic year, Microsoft News is launching an in-depth package examining the burdens of back to school costs for American families and the rippling inequities and missed opportunities that are present before a child’s first school bell rings. 

The package features more than 20 custom articles and galleries from MSN’s news partners, providing analysis and insights on the issue, stories of people making a difference, and a focus on solutions and resources for those in need.

We hope you find this informative, and that it inspires you to give what you can by donating or volunteering to help make the lives and futures of these kids better. They’re quickly growing into adults in a rapidly changing world, and the more we can help everyone succeed, the better off we’ll all be.

On MSN: Empowering Kids in Need