West Texas Teachers Using Websites To Fund Their Classrooms - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

West Texas Teachers Using Websites To Fund Their Classrooms

By Zora Asberry
NewsWest 9

Less funding and a growing number of students is leaving many teachers to pay out of pocket for learning supplies. Now, many West Texas teachers are turning to crowd funding websites for help.

On average, some teachers may spend $500 to over $1,000 on learning supplies each school year. Many teachers are now using websites like Donors Choose to make it easier to provide supplies for students.

Cara McBurney, Music Teacher for Ireland Elementary School in Odessa, uses Crowd Funding. She says that it has helped her a lot given her small budget. 

"Many of us have very small budgets and are not able to purchase larger priced items. So Donors Choose is a great way for us to get that funding to purchase those larger items so that all of our kids can have that experience in elementary," said McBurney.

Donors Choose totals each schools statistics and determines which schools have a lower socioeconomic status and could use the more funding. 

Mike Adkins, Public Information Officer for Ector County ISD, said, "Funding for the district goes up, it goes down depending on what the legislature does every two years or the way it sets up budgets. So teachers throughout the years and throughout budget cycles have spent money out of their pocket to prepare their classrooms and to take students on really fun projects."

"I know I personally spend on average, $1,000 a year, if not sometimes more on my classroom," said McBurney. 

Right now, there are nearly 40 projects from teachers in Ector County, Midland County and Big Spring that are being funded through Donors Choose.

"Six of the seven projects that I have posted have been completely funded so that means all of the materials were purchased and already sent, and then the last project ran out of time before it was fully funded," said McBurney.

Some items McBurney was able to get for her classroom using the website were two IPad minis, roughly ten drums and two xylophones.

"I use Donors Choose mostly for those items that are upwards of $500 that I can't purchase myself or with the school budget money," said McBurney.

Although McBurney still spends money on small supplies like pencils and paper, she has saved a lot of money by funding projects using Donors Choose.

"It's a little overwhelming at first, but once you get started, it's just easy from there on out," said McBurney.

For more information on how to help fund local schools in your area, you can go online to www.donorschoose.org and search for projects near you. 

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