City to allow residents to pay overtime parking tickets with school supplies


Ben Lasseter, Contributing Writer

On Tuesday, July 30, Tuscaloosa City Council voted to allow people to pay off some parking violations by donating school supplies to local students in August, according to a press release.

School supply lists, like tickets, can add up in cost for students and families. This program allows people with Tuscaloosa City overtime parking tickets to donate $10 worth of backpacks, paper and writing utensils to local students in need instead of paying the full $15 fine amount during the month of August. 

The City has assigned values to the following acceptable items:

Heavy-Duty Backpacks $10 and up
Ream White Copy Paper $4 and up
Index Cards $0.50 and up
Black and Blue Ink Pens $1 and up
16 GB Flash Drive $4 and up
Scientific Calculators $9 and up
Erasers – 3 packs $1.50 and up
Standard/College Ruled Paper $1 and up
College-Ruled Spiral Notebooks $0.60 and up
Mechanical or #2 pencils $1 and up
Binder Pouches $6 and up
Clorox/Lysol Wipes 3 packs $6.50 and up
Highlighters 3ct. $2.10 and up
Highlighters 10ct. $6 and up
Hand Sanitizers $2 and up
Box(es) of Kleenex Tissues $1.60 and up
Binder Dividers $1.50 and up
Box of Crayons $3 and up
Kids Scissors $1.50 and up

Receipts can also be shown to establish purchase value. Starting Aug. 1, donations can be taken to Municipal Court at 2122 6th St., and the Tuscaloosa City Board of Education will distribute them from there.

Las Vegas, Nevada, has been offering a similar way to pay for parking tickets through a nonprofit called Teacher Exchange. They accept school supply donations for the 7,910-square-mile school district that includes Las Vegas. 

Teacher Exchange vice president Tim McCubbin said he hopes the idea will spread to more cities across the country. Greensboro, North Carolina and Anchorage, Alaska are also trying out similar approaches this month.

Aside from just giving children school supplies, McCubbin said the initiative has brought “a lot of attention to what teachers have to deal with everyday as far as paying money out of their own pocket.”