Lift Ban on Crowdfunding for Public Schools

Target: Paolo DeMaria, Ohio’s Superintendent of Public Instruction

Goal: Back crowdfunding efforts that support children’s education.

Due to severe underfunding, schoolchildren across America are losing out on a quality education. Outdated textbooks and lacking technology represent just a fraction of these problems. In too many regions, young students do not even have access to basic supplies like writing utensils and paper. Now, bureaucrats want to take away one of the only avenues for ensuring kids benefit from an enriching learning environment.

Ohio’s Defiance City Schools district recently gained some notoriety for allegedly threatening teachers who used crowdfunding services with dismissal. This specific case reflects a widespread problem in education funding. A recent survey of America’s educators revealed that over 95 percent dipped into their personal funds to buy their students needed supplies. On average, teachers (many of whom endure their own financial struggles) paid close to 500 dollars annually on supplies. Even these additional funds do not cover expenses in most cases.

Many educators have therefore turned to crowdfunding sites wherein they can request donations for the supplies. Teachers who have used such services give them high marks and consider the contributions lifesavers. Unfortunately, the case of Defiance City is far from isolated. Across Ohio, nearly 70 school districts have imposed a complete ban on teacher crowdfunding, thereby depriving countless students of beneficial school supplies.

Sign this petition to let these decision-makers know that if they are unwilling to invest in their state’s future, they cannot strangle investments from individuals who do want to help in-need children.


Dear Mr. DeMaria,

Ohio’s auditor recently released one cold, hard fact: dozens of your school districts are actively standing in the way of critical classroom investments. Guidelines for educator crowdfunding are understandable. Banning and outright dismissing these public investments in cash-strapped public schools is not, however.

Ohio officials had no problem with teachers already struggling to make ends meet paying hundreds of dollars out-of-pocket for supplies the state should be providing. Yet when these educators turned to the public for aid, suddenly a problem existed. Is the issue more about safeguarding the public, or about protecting these schools’ –and the department that oversees them—image? Do not cut off children from opportunity to save face.

Ban the bans and have a real, meaningful dialogue about crowdfunding and its potential for assisting untold numbers of children in securing a better future.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Kris Snibbe

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