Last week, I finally joined Donors Choose. My first project — books to be added to my classroom’s independent reading library — was funded in under 24 hours.
Needless to say, I was delighted. I’m thrilled that my students have more books to read.
But I’m also frustrated. I’ve still got a printer with no ink. We do have the money for paper. But we could use some new ink cartridges. Also, another Spanish teacher. And a Librarian.
Like I’ve said here before, teachers should not have to volley for resources that any school district would actually pay for if they had the money. And while individual donations do wonderful things for schools, sometimes the glorification of that charity shifts the focus away from the harsh inequities in school funding around our country.
While I write this, City Council is having a hearing on the proposed closing of 37 schools in Philadelphia. Members of PCAPS will be speaking, including Bartram High School Teacher Anissa Weinraub.
In her testimony, she will be making the specific recommendation that Philadelphia help raise funds for education by rethinking how it collects revenue from major city players, including “taxing major center city commercial real estate holders and corporations that don’t pay their fair share” and “by taxing the mega non-profits on their real estate holdings.”
Maybe you agree, maybe you don’t. But whatever you do, don’t lose sight of the big picture. Because one day I would like for Donors Choose to become obsolete.
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