It is one of those ways that the free public schools are steadily becoming, well, less free.
It is the ever-lengthening list of school supplies and fees being pushed onto parents. These days, just about every kid in every grade in every school has a list for the start of school. Some of the things have made sense for years. Everyone need to have their pencils and a ruler. In recent years, boxes of tissues have made it onto the list. Such boxes are piled up. Look at it this way, if your kid has allergies and a steady stream of sneezes, you are the beneficiary of someone else's tissues.
These costs pile up. In 2013, one story estimated that parents fork over $161.27 for a child in elementary school, $198 for someone in middle school or junior high and $893 for a high schooler. Note that this is the supply cost, not the requirement for new clothes and shoes.