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Colorado families struggle to pay skyrocketing back-to-school costs

Sisters Melissa, center, and Estrella Romero shop with their new friend Natalie Guard on Aug. 5, 2017 in Denver. The women's group Rocky Mountain Active 20-30 put on the event to shop for back-to-school supplies for low-income students in the Denver area.

By MONTE WHALEY | mwhaley@denverpost.com | The Denver Post

PUBLISHED: August 14, 2017 at 5:24 am | UPDATED: August 14, 2017 at 6:38 pm

Tens of thousands of students will stream back to Colorado classrooms this month, their backpacks loaded with pencils and paper, binders and ballpoint pens — and, increasingly, items that schools used to supply: tissues, cotton balls, hand wipes, zip-close bags.

The price tag to equip one child can easily reach $150, school officials and parents say. And that doesn’t include clothes, shoes and specialty items like calculators.