Classroom Fundraising

I had a great conversation this morning about my most recent Donor's Choose project. I've written about this project before, but the conversation this morning got my thinking more about the "why" of having to fundraise.

So far this year, I have raised $7,647 for things for my classroom. The Donor's Choose project was the biggest and earned 30 new Chromebooks for my middle school AVID students. I also wrote a grant for 8 Sphero 2.0 robots for my elementary technology kids. With that, I was able to track down iPad Minis that weren't being used to use with the Spheros.

But why?

Why does Donor's Choose exist? Why do teachers have to write grants? 

How come I can't just ask for the things that are needed? How come teachers are used to dealing with what they have or came with their classrom? How come teachers spend their own money on supplies? How come kids have to go without?

I have good friend that is the business world. Their office is bright and colorful. They have a tremendous view from their windows. They all have brand new desktop computers and laptops to take home. They have individual space (in an open format) and private spaces for quiet work. They have state of the art conference rooms.  The lighting doesn't give me a headache and their chairs are great for sitting more than 10 minutes. They have loads of space to spread out, to collaborate, to share, to use space however they want.  There's a cabinet where they can get post-it notes and pens whenever they want. They have carpet is clean and colorful.

My friend has never had to fill out a form to request pens or dry erase markers. He was given a new laptop just for working there (not a 2 year old one that someone else had). He's never been limited on the number of copies he can make or had to ask to make color copies.

Why is education different? Why do my students have to deal with 50 year old tables and chairs. Why is the tile in my classroom dingy? Why doe the lights glare and give me a headache? Why is it up to the teacher make things better?

I'm really not complaining. I've done the best I can to make my classroom(s) the best I can. I could more. I'm just wondering why the standard is so low for education.