WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — It’s back-to-school season. Time to grab pencils, backpacks, and so much more.

For some teachers, it’s a time when they are digging into their own pockets.

“This year, I probably spent over $500,” said Gabriel Padilla.

Gabriel is entering his sixth year at West High School teaching math. He knows shopping for school supplies is key for a successful year.

“We’re struggling, and we’re in places in like socioeconomic status is low. So parents can’t always provide that, and if they’re not getting a lot of money to provide, then they look to us in the schools to be able to provide that,” Gabriel said.

This back-to-school shopping season is bringing extra costs with inflation. It might not be as bad as you expect, though.

“The national average inflation is 9.1%, but education and the books and supplies is only 3.7% year over year as of June,” said Jeremy Hill, director for the Center for Economic Development and Business Research at Wichita State University.

Hill says that’s because of a broader trend, “Those schools supply additional school supplies were growing faster than inflation over the last decade, but over the last two years, those costs have not gone up as much as overall inflation.”

Many families will still feel the burden of back-to-school shopping, especially lower-income families.

“Sometimes, it takes more than the district and schools. It takes the community as well. If we want to give these kids a good education, then we need to be able to supply that for them,” Gabriel said.

Gabriel said many teachers are looking for community support to fill the need. Initiatives like Wichita Teachers Wishlist have been extremely helpful doing so.