The initial response to the “Our Cause is Kids” campaign has been met with enthusiasm and is seeing immediate results. Our first visit with TCSD employees (64 of them) showed they could see the wisdom in this fundraising effort – the collective financial result of over $700 per month of ongoing revenue has been raised thus far.
This source of unrestricted revenue will help with requests that are not able to be funded through traditional school-based revenue sources. As most know, federal, state and local education funding tends to be earmarked for specific budget items and is not available to teachers for special projects or requests. Many teacher requested projects are things like field trips, art supplies, science equipment, software, and other materials that enrich learning. Teachers request these kinds of tools or experiences to offer students a more robust learning experience.
Another element that TEF is discussing as a way to enhance support is how to better extend these unrestricted funds it is raising. We want to make the most effective use of this funding and stretch it as far as it can go each year. One way we may be able to do this is to implement the use of DonorsChoose as employees apply for, and TEF grants, these requests.
DonorsChoose is a well-known, reputable online platform that was started in 2000, by Charles Best, a teacher at a Bronx, New York public high school. We think that aligning teacher requests for TEF funding, coupled with teachers placing their request online at DonorsChoose, will enhance the support that TEF is able to provide to teachers. Ultimately, impacting the level of experiences our frontline folks are able to provide with students. We are excited for this new aspect of teacher support!