More and more Hillsborough County elementary schools are requiring students to wear a uniform to class, but the trend is creating a problem for the area's low-income families.
"You can sort of see the colors. We've got red and navy and black and green and white and somewhere there's purple," says Ginger Bean of the OASIS Network, a nonprofit that collects donated clothes for Hillsborough County students from low-income families.
Bean says more Bay Area schools are turning to uniforms because teachers and school administrators believe the system helps with student behavior and increases safety. But social workers who distribute the clothes collected by OASIS tell Bean the trend comes with a downside.
"Our schools are just transitioning to uniforms, and the families have been used to getting hand-me-down clothes," school social workers tell Bean, she says. "That's free but now the students are required to wear uniforms and it can cost $40 to $100 depending on where you're going to buy your uniforms to outfit a kid."
If your child qualifies for reduced or free lunch at school, your student can also qualify for clothing help as well. You're encouraged to contact your child's school if you need help.