No it has not always been the responsibility for the school system to supply paper and pencils for students. Or did you mean the parents are responsible to buy supplies? I hope the latter is the one you meant. I buy my childs supplies for their needs and I resent like hell being asked to buy extra paper and pencils or whatever for the children of parents who would rather by cigarettes, alcohol, or other crap they do not need instead of buying what their children need for school. Many times it is the teachers who spend their own money on this stuff and they make little enough as it is. I know some parents are really having a hard time with money and those people I do not mind helping at all, but the ones who sit around on their lazy a$$es and do nothing do not deserve any help buying supplies.
More information about formatting options