Adopt a Classroom, help kids and teachers, get a tax-break

Patricia sez,
I am fortunate enough to teach children who have a variety of disabilities, ranging from Autism, Mild Mental Retardation, to Specific Learning Disabilities. Many of my students come from low income households where even items as simple as crayons are not easily attainable. It is rare that special education students get what they truly need in a system where budget cuts take away the most basic tools for these wonderful children.

Last year Cory adopted my class through Adopt a Classroom and I'd like to make Boing Boing Readers aware of this wonderful website.

Whether you choose my class or another, 100% of your tax deductible donation (as little as $25) goes directly to the teacher and you are informed of every item purchased. The budget cuts are worse than ever this year, but I know there are people out there willing to help.

I hope this doesn't sound like an advertisement. I am a teacher, with 2 California Teaching Credentials and a Master's Degree. I work for LAUSD, one of the largest school districts in the country. Yet, if I don't get donations or use my own money, my class doesn't get things as simple as printer ink and crayons.

I also always make sure to thank my donors personally from all the kids!

Patty's class

Adopt a Classroom (Thank, Patricia!)


  1. Crayons? Arnold just decreed that we get rid of textbooks. Art, music and other non-essential-to-get-federal-funding subjects went out the window a while ago. My friend’s eight year-old spends half his day in the school library doing self study modules. No shit.

  2. 2 needy classes in the elementary school I went to, I’ll definetly be doing what I can for them. Great program, thanks and nice job Cory.

  3. what kind of slimy, fetid piece of human shit spams an item trying to help kids? Maybe online payday loans deserves a week or six of DDoS.

    1. For those who don’t know, all of California’s financial woes stem from Proposition 13, passed in 1978. Basically, it limits property taxes to 1% of purchase price. It never goes up, so there are people who are paying $200 a year in property taxes, which barely keeps the roads paved. It saved money for older people who had already enjoyed the benefits of functional schools for their own children. California has one of the worst school systems in the US, which has one of the worst school systems in the developed world.

  4. And with horrendous grammar, no less.

    May I suggest also hocking the title to your car to support this cause. You keep the car AND the cash. This comes with the unique advantage of also supporting a sector of industry: car reclamation specialists.

    That said, this is a great cause. My wife started her teaching career in an impoverished county and used her own money to purchase much of the necessary supplies to run her class. It’s a real struggle. Any dollar you can spare, outside of hocking your paycheck, car or house, definitely helps.

  5. Uh, for those who can’t follow the conversation, I deleted some spam where #4 is now.

  6. @7 Which is a really big deal. Nine out of ten dollars spent on education come from the state and local level. The majority of education dollars come from taxes collected at the county level, which are primarily in the form of property taxes.

    So, counties where property taxes have been permanently capped, or counties where land was never worth that much to begin with wind up having a hell of a time providing for their students. Added to this is a secondary effect of the collapse of the housing market. Drops in property value have translated to a drop in funding.

    There really isn’t a federal solution to this. Education is a trillion dollar a year industry. It would require enormous sums of money to truly make an impact from the federal level. (I guess in terms of what the fed is spending these days, it would be no big deal to double down on education.)

    This isn’t to say that there aren’t a number of other problems US school systems face. But, not being able to pay your teachers enough to want to stay teachers is a huge deal. The average new teacher in the US lasts about five years before moving on to something else.

    After that, not being able to pay for buildings (many many schools use trailers to supplement building space), books (many schools don’t let kids take books home because their counterparts in other classes need that book too), or a host of other issues plays a role in why our school system is struggling.

  7. @ #7

    My Aunt’s husband has owned his home in California for around 30 years, so he’s paying around $300 a year. Similar houses in his street are selling for one million dollars.

  8. I had a sister who passed away a few years ago who, up until her (sudden and unexpected) death was a special education teacher specializing in autistic students with moderate to severe mental retardation.
    Speaking with her colleagues and the parents of her students at her wake, we were surprised to learn just how much of her own money she spent on the job, funding out of her own pocket everything from teaching materials to personal items the poorest students needed but which their families could not supply. Her principal estimated she spent thousands every year to provide supplies for her own and other classes.

    It didn’t surprise us that she was spending her own money to do so — she was a remarkably generous person and we knew she was spending on something that we weren’t aware of, as she lived very modestly and made a decent wage but never seemed to have any spare money, but we were kind of surprised by how little the school provided and what a need there is for help in many classrooms.

    You can argue all you want about the many inadequacies of the public school system in the USA and I won’t contradict you but the bottom line is that regardless of whether the materials they need *should* be paid for by tax dollars, the sad fact is that many students are in classrooms where they are *not* receiving the materials they need to help them learn. If this organization helps match classrooms in need with people who can help, I am glad to hear it.

  9. Of course budget cuts are necessary after bailing out the banks who really needed the money.

  10. @Antinous #8: I’ve noticed this before, when people were responding to item numbers which no longer existed, or which had been shifted by such a deletion. How about, instead of deleting the spam, replacing it with a “spam redacted” notice? If you can disemvowel objectionable items, one would assume the software would allow replacement, right?

    OTOH other software provides a “reply” button which could presumably insert a link to the item in question automatically, which could be adjusted if that item or an earlier item was deleted…just curious, really, pardon my thinking aloud.

    1. NotACat,

      The renumbering is actually because anonymous comments get approved. They fall into queue in their natural chronological order rather than their approval order. It’s a nuisance.

  11. Why aren’t teachers using this website to send themselves money if no one else does?

  12. I’m shocked that in such a rich nation, teachers have to beg for crayons. What a potent symbol of shame for Cali and the US.

  13. So in the richest country in the world, which spends over $500 billion a year on its military, there are not even the public funds to buy crayons for special needs classes?


  14. If there is a hell, Arnold and his Republican colleagues–all of whom delight in cutting the hell out of schools, universities, welfare, and health care–surely will go there.

    I teach in California. It’s difficult to convey how dire things are here.

    It takes 2/3 of the legislature to raise taxes or pass a budget, and that means that a few Grover Norquists get to shake down the poor every year. It’s sinful.

  15. Btw, the same proposition Antinous #8 talks about is the one that imposes the 2/3 rule for tax increases and budgets.

  16. I also have my classroom posted on adopt a classroom. We are in need of pretty much EVERYTHING, since our small city school system does not give us money for use in our classrooms. We desperately need new novels for my students! You can find my classroom by my email address

    Thanks for all donations! We currently only have $3 in the account!

  17. In Schwarzenegger’s (mild) defense, he’s been saddled with a property tax system from government hell, and a state where the citizens have to VOTE for a property tax increase. Which basically means that he can’t possibly get enough money for anything.

    No excuses for where he finds the money by cutting, but when y’all just had a referendum, voted down a tax hike, and voted in more expenses, there’s a certain amount of “the fool citizens brought this on themselves”… but frankly, that’s why a government should never have allowed things to get this far in the first place.

    Who were the guys in charge when this whole mess started rolling in the 70s? And is it too late to drag them out and yell “This is all your fault!”

  18. At first I thought Cory was talking about sponsoring education in the developing world. Not California.

  19. I just donated to schools in Nixon, Nevada and Gerlach, Nevada….towns familiar to many Boingers!

  20. My school just sent around a request to all employees asking for donations of any electronic equipment, computers, TVs, VCRs, DVD players, if you are upgrading the home system, because the AV/tech budget has been zeroed out for next year.

    Me, I’m going to That’s the only way I got any new stuff for the last three years.

  21. It’s a shame that it’s impossible to donate from outside the USA – their signup process doesn’t allow for it :-(

  22. I can’t believe I never heard of this website before, it’s an amazing program! My husband and I just donated a classroom and we’re looking forward to telling everyone we know about it so they can donate too :)

  23. I am thinking that teachers could use this to obtain a better tax deduction than the current $250 Federal allowance.

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