Like most art teachers (most teachers, in fact), I am always looking for ways to stretch the dollar. I am fortunate in that I work in a fairly new school that supports drama, music and art to the extent that we have 1 full-time teacher for each and full classes as well. I have a modest budget--asking $10 per student per class--which allows them to keep all their work and even do some extra stuff. The only thing the art program asks that students bring daily (besides an alert brain) is a pencil!

Other teachers are not so fortunate. They have little or no budget, are working in deteriorating schools, or have been affected by everything from Hurricane Katrina to district budget crises. One of the well-intentioned organizations that strives to assist teachers is This web-based organization allows teachers to submit proposals for funding specific projects. No red tape. No going through the district's hoops. That's the good news.

The bad news is donors are not choosing. As of today:
  • 14,272 projects in need of funding K-12
  • 10,503 projects have not received a single offer of funding
  • 955 projects are in Visual Art
  • 300 of those HAVE received funding, but are not fulfilled
  • 63 of those which have received funding are in grades 9-12; a lot of the funded programs tend to be in elementary programs
My proposal, which has already expired since it went unfunded, is one of those on the list. I haven't taken it off, but I won't be adding to it either. I'll make do, of course, and keep teaching and find out ways to make the art program come alive for my students. I'll be fine and so will my students. We're some of the lucky few.