Whoever coined the phrase "free public education" must not have checked their kids' supply list.
A new report by Huntington Bank says the cost of supplies and extracurriculars jumped nearly 10 percent for high school students over the last year. They or their parents will shell out an average of more than $1,200. Younger students aren't immune from the price hikes: grade school and middle school costs jumped more than 5 percent. Middle schoolers will pay an average of $762 while elementary schoolers will pay $576.
No one item caused a big portion of the jump. The cost of school supplies and extracurriculars far outpaced the consumer price index, which rose 1.39% from a year ago.
The "backpack index" takes into account the cost of the usual school supplies such as pencils and paper as well as technology items such as flash drives and for the first time, tablet computers for high schoolers. Huntington found the addition of a tablet made the Backpack Index climb 36% for high schoolers over 2012.