Teachers, If You Could Use Some Extra $ in the Classroom, Raise Your Hands

Who knows what Dallas Independent School District chief of staff Arnold Viramontes's “direct action plan” will entail to prevent a $64-million wuh-oh next year. (Trustees Jack Lowe and Edwin Flores, for starters, fully expect another shortfall in the current school year's $1.6 billion budget -- so, word of warning.) But A.V.'s plan likely won't include supplies for “Shoe Box Math” or rock-and-roll reading equipment. Because, look, the dough's disappearing every day, some days more than others. (Pardon, did you just say, "close schools to balance ... spending"?) That’s where this nifty Web site comes in.

Called Donors Choose, its purpose is easily explained: “Teachers ask. You choose. Students learn.” Or, the long answer: Teachers beg for money for their learning activities, then donors give money to the ones with the coolest idea -- well, maybe that’s not exactly how it’s supposed to work—and the students do the activity and write thank-you notes. Natalie French, Dallas-based associate director for New York-based nonprofit, says, on the heels of yesterday's revelation the company is interested in “hopefully getting some donations from the caring Dallas people for Dallas teachers.”

And many have been asking, long before yesterday.

According to the site, there are 61 requests from DISD teachers spread from Sudie Williams Elementary School to Bryan Adams High School. French, whose media release this a.m. alterted us to the site, isn’t sure if the recent developments will spike participation from DISD teachers. That's because, she says, “to tell you the truth, we’ve had a hard time breaking into the Dallas ISD system just because of, like, its just such a mess. It’s just been real hard to deal with the administration.”

Now's the perfect time to reach out to the superintendent again, then. Because, really, this does seem like a perfect marriage: “DISD Superintendent seeks money to pay teachers. Needs $64 Million. Any Amount Welcome.” Incidentally, next month the site will host a blogger competition, during which they will encourage bloggers to create their own pages with their favorite teacher requests and then ask their readers to pitch in. So, if, just maybe, your kid's classroom needs a little something-something, now's the time to buy a hat for passing. --Courtney Clenney

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky