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More COVID shortages: These back-to-school items may be harder to find this year

Shortages could last into the spring semester as well.

HOUSTON — We say this just about every day during COVID — there’s a shortage.

This time around, it could impact your back-to-school shopping.

Most parents know the stylish sneakers or the coolest backpacks go quickly, but other school supplies are now getting tougher to find.

“It’s that perfect storm that is causing this second supply chain shock to happen,” says Hitha Herzog with the research firm H Squared.

Items in short supply

She says items in short supply for the 2021-2022 school year include backpacks, stationery, sports equipment, kids shoes, clothing and laptops/tablets.

Herzog says some of it is caused by a plastics shortage, and when it comes to electronics, there’s still a microchip shortage. She suggests buying secondhand or repurposing when you can.

“Sometimes the best creativity comes from repurposing this secondhand — I feel like there’s going to be a little grace, especially as we continue to soldier through this pandemic.”

One more tip: don’t expect deep discounts on school supplies. If you find what you need, buy it ASAP — and maybe buy two, if you’ll need it. Shortages could last into the spring semester as well.

Texas sales tax-free weekend for back-to-school

The 2021 sales tax holiday begins Friday, Aug. 6, and goes through midnight Sunday, Aug. 8. The tax-free purchases apply to most clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks (sold for less than $100).

Get the list of qualifying items and more info here. KHOU 11 is your Education Station!

Live superintendent Q&A

We're getting you ready for back to school on KHOU 11 and that includes conversations with Houston-area superintendents. Tonight (Friday, 8/6) at 7 p.m., Len Cannon is talking live with Ft. Bend ISD acting superintendent Diana Sayavedra  You can watch live on KHOU.com, our mobile app, Roku, FireTV, Facebook and YouTube.