COVID-era virtual school supplies come with real spike in spending

Back-to-school shopping is looking different for many families this year, thanks to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. With the 73 of the 100 largest U.S. school districts opting for remote learning this fall, backpacks are out – and Bluetooth headphones and Chromebooks are in.

That’s upending the budgets for many families and helps explain why back-to-school spending is set to break a record in 2020. Households with children in kindergarten through 12th grade will spend an average of almost $790 per family this year – a record as well as 13% higher than a year earlier, according to National Retail Federation, a trade group.

That jibes with the experiences of several families in Houston, the nation’s 9th largest school district, who shared their experiences with USA Today. When the city’s schools switched to online learning this spring due to the pandemic, many parents relied on makeshift arrangements, such as turning the

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Covid-Era Tech Grads Launch Careers From Parents’ Homes

(Bloomberg) — Eric Lee has dreamed of working for Microsoft Corp. for as long as he can remember, and was stoked this spring to land a job at the tech giant right out of college. But instead of traveling across the country to start his career at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Wash., Lee joined the workforce this month from his family’s house in the suburbs of Boston.

The arrangement has its comforts. Every hour Lee’s mom brings him a different type of cut-up fruit, then usually noodles for lunch. But he feels disconnected from his new colleagues in a way he wouldn’t if they were sharing an office. When Lee gets stuck on a tricky line of code, he sends a message asking for advice, then tries to figure it out himself. If that fails, he passes the time until he gets a response by watching videos on TikTok. Sometimes

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