How Stuyvesant Marks Up Physical Education Uniforms

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Issue 12, Volume 110

By Hugo Smith 

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Stuyvesant has been quietly marking up the price of Physical Education (P.E.) uniforms, charging students up to four times what it pays for parts of the uniforms that every student is required to buy, according to documents obtained from a Freedom of Information Law request.

Invoices from the school’s uniform supplier, Metro Team Outfitters, show that the school pays $5.36 per regular T-shirt sold to students for $10, $4.82 for each Under Armour T-shirt sold for $20, $8.15 per pair of shorts sold for $15, and on average $13.07 per pair of sweatpants (which is between $12.47 and $13.47 depending on the model) sold for $20. These costs include shipping.

Stuyvesant’s P.E. contract says: “All students must be attired in a Stuyvesant physical education uniform (T-shirt, shorts/sweatpants).” Students are not permitted to wear athletic clothing not sold by the school in P.E. classes. While Stuyvesant raises money through the sale of other, optional, school merchandise, like Stuyvesant-branded hoodies, the P.E. uniform is mandatory for all students to purchase and replace if lost. Forty-two percent of Stuyvesant students are considered economically disadvantaged by the Department of Education, and the high prices and requirement of the uniforms have long been a point of contention.

The administration defended the decision to mark up the uniforms. Assistant Principal of Security/Health and P.E. Brian Moran said that the uniforms are marked up to cover the costs of giving away uniforms to students with financial challenges. “Part of it is about having a round number,” Moran said. He was not sure if the school is making a profit, and he did not know the number of free uniforms given away. Moran said that any profit would go back into the Health and Physical Education department account to pay for other things, such as equipment for sports teams.