Flat fee for student's school supplies: 'Anyone can use them that needs them'

      EUGENE, Ore. -- The new school year is right around the corner, and families are making the mad dash to the school supply section of retail stores across the nation.

      Families at Danebo Elementary will not be among those fighting for the last pack of pink pearl erasers, as the school adopted a universal school supplies fee five years ago.

      They charge $20 bucks per student, which covers all the school supplies that student will need for the year.

      The school's principal, Mary Ford, said it was instituted to help cover classmates who may have limited family budgets.

      The fee has been in effect districtwide at the kindergarten level for several years. Danebo, Clear Lake and Fairfield elementary schools adopted the fee for all their students.

      Danebo principle says not only does it help low income families but it also keeps things uniform in the classroom.

      "All the supplies - they're community supplies within classrooms. Anyone can use them that needs them. There's no pencils that break or pencils that are bling-bling that are going to be causing kids to fight over," said Ford.

      She said several families were reluctant to accept the fee the first year it was implemented - but now almost all the families love it.