February 22, 2011 § 3 Comments
This Donors Choose project was funded a tiny little bit by one person, and a whole heap by Google.
I asked for the project to be retweeted. I sent notices to the school’s PTSA newsletter, and they were published, one a week for two weeks, until the project was funded.
I incorporated a link to this project on some local “we care about our public schools, and our public schools teachers” communities. I challenged people who used forum threads to champion one school board candidate and disparage an opponent to fund the project by $20 per winning candidate. They didn’t do that.
But only one person and Google funded this project. Mostly Google.
Seven people clicked on the link I posted on Twitter, but I know none of those people who clicked funded the project.
If every parent in the school donated $1.50 to the project it would have been funded.
If every person who donated to a Seattle School Board candidate donated $0.30 to the project it would have been funded.
If every PTSA BOARD MEMBER of the school donated as much to this project as they did to a pro-education reform, pro-charter schools candidate, this project would have been funded.
If every US-based Twitter account who BEGAN following me post project-publication retweeted to their hundreds of thousands of followers, and .1% of them gave $2, the project would have been funded.
I feel that I went to the appropriate online areas, but those appropriate areas are not populated with people richer than I, who care as much as I about this project.
I thank Google and that one other person for fully funding the project, but I am reversing my thinking on asking the US public, especially Seattle, for help. If my state legislature is not interested in funding fully public education, why do charter school operators, who want public funding but none of the accountability, think they can succeed here?
I can’t even get people in a community of “let’s support our teachers!” to contribute to a project that wouldn’t even go to DonorsChoose.org if the school district hadn’t made staffing budget cuts, if the school itself and its PTSA had amassed hundreds of thousands of dollars (I was a PTSA school treasurer, I know how large those accounts can be!) to retain staff and fund itself adequately for supplies, if the state legislature fully funded state education. I wouldn’t have posted the project if I didn’t know the teacher to be excellent, and if there were not a donation drive already run by the school PTSA.