Teachers increasingly rely on crowdfunding for classroom supplies

robot tutor emotional states group of school kids with teacher sitting in classroom and raising hands
Copyright: <a dolgachov / 123RF Stock Photo
From classroom cleaning supplies to computers for students to use in the classroom, to underwater robots, public school teachers throughout the U.S. are turning to crowdfunding. When government entities can’t provide the funds, teachers increasingly open their own wallets or go online, according to the Associated Press.

A crowdfunded underwater robot for a classroom science project makes the point that even the best-funded schools use crowdfunding. In the majority of instances, however, teachers are looking for help to supply the basics.

In the case of a kindergarten classroom in Philadelphia’s Roosevelt Elementary School, teacher Shannon Raferty has a $200 budget for supplies for the entire school year. Rafferty spends $100 to $150 of her own money from each paycheck, reports the AP,  but it’s not enough. Rafferty is trying to raise $500 through crowdfunding.

Allan Rogers’ third grade class at Jackson Elementary School in Jackson, Louisiana has students who lost everything in the recent floods. Jackson and other teachers in the school are crowdfunding for basic supplies and for classroom computers.

Back in the day when schools or classes wanted to raise money for special events like class trips or new band uniforms, it was common to have car washes, to rake leaves, and to sell anything from wrapping paper and candy to magazine subscriptions. But those strategies don’t work when the school communities are impoverished.

School crowdfunding as a result is increasing. According to the AP, educational crowdfunding campaigns on GoFundMe and DonorsChoose raised $31.2 million in 2010. In 2015 that number grew to almost $140 million and is on track to go even higher in 2016.

DonorsChoose, a crowdfunding site dedicated to supporting classrooms, reportedly has more than 50,000 campaigns for this year’s back-to-school season. Potential crowdfunding donors can look through the sites to make their choice from requests from barely funded schools seeking the most basic supplies to more well-funded districts looking for special project assistance.

According to Michael Leachman, the director of state fiscal research at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, local, state, and federal governments are still catching up post-recession. “It’s obviously disturbing that teachers are having to raise the money that they need to provide good education to kids,” Leachman said.

Emerging Tech

Get ready to waste your day with this creepily accurate text-generating A.I.

Remember the text-generating A.I. created by research lab OpenA.I. that was supposedly too dangerous to release to the public? Well, someone just released a version of it. Check it out.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (May 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.

These 100 best iPhone apps will turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

The iPhone is the most popular smartphone in the world, and we want to bring out the best in yours. Behold our comprehensive list of the best iPhone apps, from time-saving productivity tools to fun apps you won’t be able to put down.

The Dell XPS 13 headlines the best laptop deals for May 2019

Whether you need a new laptop for school or work or you're just doing some post-holiday shopping, we have you covered: These are the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.

Jeff Bezos breaks ground on $1.5B Amazon cargo hub for 100 Prime Air planes

Amazon has all kinds of plans to speed up delivery times, but none come bigger than the $1.5 billion air cargo hub that it's building in Kentucky for up to 100 of its Prime Air cargo planes.
Home Theater

Spotify hits repeat on its Premium special offer: $1 a month for 3 months

Back by popular demand it seems, or perhaps to bolster demand, Spotify is relaunching its $1 for three months of its Premium-tier service for anyone who has not previously signed up for a subscription, for a limited time.

Verizon’s 5G is blazing fast on the Galaxy S10 5G, if you’re on the right block

The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G is finally here, and we went to Chicago to test its 5G connectivity capabilities on Verizon's 5G network. Like with the Moto Z3 and Moto Mod, service is still limited, but it's super fast.

Google’s new Trips site aims to help with all of your travel planning

Google seeks to ease your travel planning with Trips, a new online site that lets you explore destinations, research airline flights, check out hotels and view current package deals.

5G your old phone: HTC’s 5G Hub is now available for pre-order from Sprint

HTC almost made a phone. The HTC 5G Hub runs Android 9 Pie, has a Qualcomm 855 processor with the X50 modem, 4GB of RAM, and an HD touchscreen -- but it's a hot spot designed to connect to 5G networks.

The 15 best tech jobs boast top salaries, high satisfaction, lots of openings

Late spring weather isn’t the only thing heating up. The technology sector offers some of the hottest jobs in the country, and talent and experience are in high demand. May is blooming with thousands of high-paying positions all over the…
Social Media

Be the master of your own Insta-verse with multiple Instagram accounts

Whether you own a small business or have separate Instagram accounts for your five cats, we'll walk you through the process of switching between your multiple accounts on your Apple or Android devices.