Teachers are being severely underpaid in this world, and it's starting to get a little extreme. On average, elementary school teachers earn $53,000 a year. However, salaries in states can be as low as $35,000. In comparison, an elevator repair technician earns $76,000 a year.
Teachers are shaping the minds of our kids, yet are still not given adequate resources for their classrooms. More often than not, educators are forced to spend out of their own pockets to purchase necessary supplies.
“I’ve always had to buy supplies to enrich our curriculum,” Teresa Danks, a 50-year-old elementary teacher from Verdigris, Oklahoma, says. “I do anything and everything to stretch the dollar as far as I can.”
Oklahoma is one of the states with low teacher salary, yet Danks still spends $2,000 a year to stock her classroom.
Recently, cuts to the education budget have made things harder for Oklahoma teachers, so Danks and her husband Jonathan Roark were chatting about ways to alleviate the pressure that educators would be facing. Roark joked that his wife could start panhandling, but was shocked with her response.
"I was kidding,” Roark says, “but she ran with it!”
Danks and Roark grabbed some white poster board and markers, and wrote a short but clear message on the board. The couple headed to a gas station, where the intention was to just take a picture of Danks holding the sign next to a freeway. They would post the picture on Facebook to try and prove a point.
Continue reading to see what the sign says, and what happened to Danks that left her stunned!
Danks and Roark were hoping to snap a quick picture, post it online, and encourage their friends to donate school supplies. Instead, a man leaving the gas station saw the sign and handed over a $20 bill.
Roark then dropped his wife off at a freeway exit. A few minutes later he returned, and Danks had collected not only $32, but also dozens of thankful messages. One woman stopped to tell Danks, "I’m alive today because of a teacher like you.”
At the end of the day, Danks had collected $126 for her classroom and had sparked a movement. The "Begging for Education" Facebook page was created to raise awareness for the needs of Oklahoma educators.
“I’m very hopeful this message will get to our legislators, but I don’t have as much confidence in them as I do the American people,” Danks says. “I believe they will step up and make this happen for our kids. Their success is our success, and I just want more for the kids of this nation than what we’re giving them right now.”
A GoFundMe page has been started to help move the cause along, and as of right now more than $26,000 has been raised. The goal is $50,000 but anything will help!