Better East Texas: Finding money for classrooms

(KLTV) - Perhaps you saw the story recently of a Tulsa, Oklahoma public school teacher that essentially panhandled for money for supplies for her classroom.  

This was an equally touching and frustrating story, as the teacher noted she contributes thousands of dollars or her own money each year to help fund her classroom needs, and that the state of Oklahoma is in a very tight budget climate that led to the lack of classroom funding. If you have school-aged children in your life, you know that there is typically an annual fundraiser for extracurricular activities and, occasionally, just to meet the need for daily classroom supplies.

The neat part of the story is that the Oklahoma teacher was somewhat successful in raising money – the frustrating part is that she was driven to essentially beg for the money. Additionally, it is hard to be a big fan of some popcorn or cookie dough vendor that makes a profit off of annual supply need sales either so there needs to be something in the middle.  

Perhaps teachers should identify the needs and appeal directly to parents and families to help with those needs. Certainly, some do this. If a family can't or won't help financially, then give them the option of helping out with some time in classroom.  It is an annual challenge and, unfortunately, Oklahoma and even Texas don't fund our schools adequately.  So, parents and others will need to step up and help.  But do it logically and safely and where the maximum amount of money will go to meet the need and that will make for a Better East Texas.

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