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Could Relying on Crowdfunding for Resources in America’s Classrooms Shift Necessary Financial Responsibility from Schools?

Could Relying on Crowdfunding for Resources in America’s Classrooms Shift Necessary Financial Responsibility from Schools?

Teachers across the country had the #BestSchoolDay last week after $14 million in flash funding helped fund a significant portion of teacher requests for supplies on the crowdfunding website, DonorsChoose.org.

DonorsChoose.org is just one of several successful crowdfunding websites that help the country’s teachers save some of their own money on classroom supplies. After all, the average American teacher spends $500 of out-of-pocket money on school supplies year after year.

The Twitter reaction from teachers who had their classroom projects funded during the #BestSchoolDay was nothing short of heartwarming; teachers celebrated their students being able to have new resources to improve the quality of their education.

#BestSchoolDay I am blessed to having been fully funded. As an Art Teacher I look forward to being able to strengthen illiteracy in my room,” tweeted @geista7292.

Tweeted @ClevengerBecca: “My donors choose project has been fully funded! My students can’t wait to dig into their new books. Thank you!! #BestSchoolDay

Tweets like these poured in by the thousands as teachers thanked donors on their students’ behalf.

But while community crowdfunding efforts to support teachers is unarguably a good thing, some experts argue that it’s just a band-aid in an attempt to solve school funding problems and can further exacerbate the problem as school systems become accustomed to relying on community support.

"Making online philanthropy a model for raising funds long-term could not only lead to audiences burned out from giving out of the goodness of their hearts,” says David Polgar, co-founder of the Digital Citizenship Summit to the Christian Science Monitor.

"It would be nice if we could switch the focus to saying, ‘We should properly fund supplies in classrooms,’ instead of shaking the proverbial can and saying, ‘Hey everyone, put money in,” he said, according to the article.

Classroom management, Polgar says, shouldn’t move too far beyond the four walls of schools in order to ensure long-term solution.

Read the full story.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

3/16/2016

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