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CPS teachers using crowdfunding avenues for more classroom supplies

With tight budgets, some Columbia teachers are seeking donations through crowdfunding websites for classroom supplies.

However, the Columbia Finance Committee said it might need to come up with some policies regarding how crowdfunding is used with CPS teachers.

Right now there are no policies or regulations prohibiting teachers from asking for funds on websites like “Donors Choose” or “GoFundMe.”

The committee had several questions, including: How do we know they aren’t using the CPS name to line their own pockets? Do we have a larger problem with providing certain supplies to teachers? And what regulations should we have to protect CPS?

CPS Finance Committee chair Paul Cushing told ABC 17 News, “We first need to figure out if we have a problem supplying to teachers, that’s the first step.”

Cushing asked, “Why are teachers using these avenues? We have a budget for stuff like that (supplies). We want to make sure they (teachers) are utilizing that, cause our taxpayers make sure we have enough money to run our schools.”

Kathy Steinhoff, Columbia Missouri National Education Association President, told ABC 17 News it wasn’t shocking to know that teachers are going through these avenues, but said there needs to be more of a discussion on how teachers can ask for supplies they need.

“I’m not sure if many of our teachers know the proper channels to get some of the things they need that they aren’t automatically given,” Steinhoff said.

The next step will be for teachers, principals and school leaders to discuss how they can help each other and if any possible regulations for crowdsource funding are needed.

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