Across the country, schools have felt the brunt of budget cuts. Many teachers have to spend their own money to buy simple things like art supplies, pencils and even hand sanitizer for their classrooms.
Needless to say, spending money on public education has become a low priority for lawmakers, especially for states like Louisiana which is considering enormous cuts to education funding in order to close a $1.6 billion budget shortfall, even though only one in four corporations pay taxes to Baton Rouge.
Fortunately, Stephen Colbert announced today that he plans to take care of public school educators throughout his home state of South Carolina by funding every single grant request teachers have made to cover expenses the state’s school system is unable to.
Comedian Stephen Colbert announced Thursday that he would fund every existing grant request South Carolina public school teachers have made on the education crowdfunding website DonorsChoose.org.
Colbert made the announcement on a live video feed Thursday at a surprise event at Alexander Elementary School in Greenville.
Colbert, a South Carolina native, announced the funding at a conference in New York hosted by DonorsChoose.org, a crowdfunding non-profit where teachers create projects requesting materials and experiences their students need to learn, and donors support the projects that inspire them. (Source)
We shouldn’t have to rely on private individuals to fund grants for public schools, but Stephen Colbert stepped up to the plate anyhow and took care of what South Carolina lawmakers couldn’t. Prior to leaving his show, Stephen Colbert auctioned off many items from his set, including his news desk, with the proceeds going to charity. The money from these raffles is what is being used to fund these grant requests, thanks in part to Colbert Show fans who spent a lot of money for a chance at a piece of memorabilia last fall.
These grant requests weren’t for luxury items either; these were for things like basic supplies and even carpeting. Here’s an example of what one school, Alexander Elementary, will be buying with the money.
Classroom carpet: $520
iPad Mini 3 covers: $441
Basic school supplies such as pencils and air freshener: $545
A trampoline and treadmill for sensory therapy: $504
Books that are good for girls: $408
Books that are good for boys: $366
More high interest books: $322
Dodge balls for recess play: $165
16 new bulletin boards: $202
According to Greenville News, 100 percent of students at Alexander Elementary receive reduced or free school lunches, which speaks to the poverty in the area. South Carolina also ranked near the bottom of a 2014 study by Wallethub which analyzed 18 metrics to determine the best and worst states for teachers. Not only does South Carolina not pay teachers very well, but it has also slashed funding for education overall during the past few years.
Maybe we should convince Stephen Colbert to run for governor in South Carolina. He’d certainly do a lot better job than Nikki Haley and her Koch-backed legislature is doing currently.
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