Images of public school teachers in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, rushing to an ice rink to collect dollar bills for school supplies went viral over the weekend, with union leaders and economic justice advocates pointing to the video as the latest proof that schools are drastically underfunded and businesses and the wealthy must pay their fair share of taxes.
Spectators cheered on Saturday night as the teachers took part in the first-ever âDash for Cashâ at a hockey game. Five thousand dollars in dollar bills were laid out on a mat on the ice and educators had five minutes to put the money in their shirts so they could use the money to buy school supplies and pay for class upgrades.
The money was donated by a local mortgage company, CU Mortgage Direct, according to The Guardian.
Human rights lawyer Qasim Rashid called the competition “dystopian”, “disgusting” and “dehumanizing”.
âTax billionaires already,â he tweeted.
“South Dakota treats international money launderers better than teachers.”
South Dakota is one of the lowest ranked states in terms of education spending. According to Census data, the state spends more per student than just 13 other states.
State teachers also ranked last in the country for compensation in 2016 and 2021, according to the Chief of Argus, a Sioux Falls-based newspaper. Chronic low funding for public education prompted a teacher to To go for a walk in the city in early 2020. Teachers in South Dakota are paid an average of $ 48,984 per year.
A 2018 survey by the US Department of Education show that state teachers spend an average of $ 350 of their own money on school supplies.
“My mother was a teacher at a public school in South Dakota. She also worked as a waitress and housekeeper to make ends meet,” noted organizer Nick Estes in response to Dash for Cash. “This video shows how teachers in South Dakota are being humiliated just to fund their classrooms today. Imagine the US military had to do this for its money.”
As teachers in South Dakota scramble to find money to pay for school supplies, like Common dreams reported last week, the state has become a haven for the ultra-rich who seek to hide their assets and avoid taxes. More than 80 out of 106 trusts in the United States are located in South Dakota, granting secrecy and protection to the rich and powerful.
“South Dakota treats international money launderers better than teachers” tweeted Jason Linkins, Associate Editor of The New Republic.
Last week, Republican Governor Kristi Noem offers a 6% increase in education funding for next year, but South Dakota Education Association Loren Paul warned the increase would not be enough to address chronic underfunding issues .
“Our problem is the years when we don’t even see inflation, and we’ve had several,” Paul told local media. KELO Last week.