This just reminded me of the issue that's been popping up more and more lately, and that's the idea of "communal" class pots for elementary kids' school supplies.
I've heard several parents say lately they are starting to take serious issue with the fact that they are fulfilling the unusually exorbitant lists of school supplies that they are given. So they bring their kids shopping and get them all the supplies that the children pick out for themselves (whether it be Dragon-themed notebooks, Dora-themed scissors, Spiderman binders or what have you)... only for the child to get to school on the first day and have most of it taken away and put into a communal pot where it will be distributed amongst all of the students in the class based on the teacher's discretion.
At first I thought this must be an issue with one rogue teacher who inexplicably finds this to be a sensible way of doing things, but it turns out not to be the case. I had no idea how common this is.
And from some of the people I've heard discussing it (including teachers), the unusually high amounts of supplies are sometimes mandated solely in order to build a surplus for each classroom that can transfer from year to year. So for example; require that each student bring SIXTY of something to class, take all but 5 and put the rest in the "pot", and the classroom will have enough of each to last for several years in advance whenever they're needed.
I certainly don't know if this is the case here, but I do know that I think this would be difficult for me to deal with if I had kids. (Especially when the parents aren't told ahead of time that their kids won't get to keep the things that they pick out/you buy for them.)
The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese....