TULSA, Okla. – In a few weeks, teachers will be heading back to school to get their classrooms ready for students.
With the Oklahoma Department of Education taking hits amid the ongoing budget crisis in the state, many teachers are being forced to pay for supplies out of their own pockets.
Now, one Oklahoma educator is going to great lengths to provide for her students.
Teresa Danks is a third grade teacher for Tulsa Public Schools.
As a result of budget cuts over the past few years, Danks told FOX 23 that she now spends between $2,000 to $3,000 of her own money to purchase supplies for her students.
“It all adds up week after week, and month after month,” she said. “So it’s a huge need.”
For years, teachers have been asking lawmakers for a raise.
When legislators failed to pass a bill that would approve a salary increase for Oklahoma educators, Danks says she decided to ask the public for help.
Danks turned to panhandling to raise money to purchase school supplies for her classroom.
She stood on a street corner near 193rd East Ave. and I-44 with a sign that read, “Teacher needs school supplies! Anything helps. Thank you.”
In six minutes, Danks says she made $55, more than double what she makes per hour in the classroom.
She says she turned to panhandling to raise money and also bring awareness to how the budget crisis is affecting Oklahoma teachers.