By now many of you know about the provision put into the NC budget by Sen. Jeff Tarte to fund a DonorsChoose.org campaign to supply schools in Tarte’s district with resources.
Teachers like myself and others who buy supplies to give to students who may need them might have thought, “It would be nice if the NC General Assembly would fully fund all public schools so that resources could be had by all students, not just the ones who are being helped in a ploy for a state senator to win a contested election.
And then DonorsChoose.org releases this statement:
“We cannot accept the funding outlined in the budget provision unless it’s changed to equitably support teachers and students throughout North Carolina. We’re grateful to Senator Tarte for looking to support students and teachers in his district. But other districts (including those with more students from low-income households) would not receive such support, which makes this budget provision feel against the spirit of our mission to fight education inequity and to serve where the need is greatest” (http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/education/article212185489.html).
It makes one wonder how a non-profit company from New York can say exactly what many of us teachers have been screaming about for the last six years. And the sad part is that the NCGA listened to them before they listened to any of the teachers.
Last August, I posted about a friend who had to use a GoFundMe campaign just to get technology to help out his classroom. He said,
“I found that the only way to acquire a Chromebook Cart for my students was to fund raise from my family, friends, and school parents. The good news is that we raised $5,730 in five days. How many times can we, as teachers, go to that well? Not too often. In reality, we shouldn’t have to.
This teacher is grateful to his supporters. Why should he have to be? And what do I say to my fellow faculty members this fall when they look at my cart filled with thirty brand new Chromebooks and ask what they should do?”
I know of many teachers who have used grants and other measures to experiment with teacher methods or explore new avenues of pedagogy. Great teachers do that. However, what this teacher did was fund raise from family, friends, and parents for materials that other schools may have that his students did not.
Why should he?’
He should not have to, but he did.
And it would not take long to figure out why when you consider our North Carolina General Assembly.
The same people who last year “wrote” this year’s budget that included this stunt by Sen. Tarte.