Screenshot from viral video showing teachers in Sioux Falls, South Dakota competing at a local ice rink. (Twitter @ AnnieTodd96)
Teachers in South Dakota were seen on video frantically slipping $ 1 bills into their shirts outside the rink of a local hockey arena in a contest to get money for school supplies last weekend.
The video, which has since gone viral, shows the so-called “Dash for Cash” playing during a junior hockey game in Sioux Falls on Saturday. The event was ostensibly intended to be a bit of fun: the teachers wore hockey helmets, and at least one of them took off a festive reindeer hat to collect more tickets from the pile that sided. was accumulated in the center of the ice. The director of business development and marketing for CU Mortgage Direct, which funded the teachers’ earnings – $ 5,000 in all – also told the Chief of Argus the company felt it was a “great group thing to do” after a difficult pandemic years for educators.
But looking at it from afar, some Americans saw a much more depressing scene: officials fighting over crumbs in a country that pays them less than educators in several other developed countries and don’t always foot the basic commodity bill. like pencils and garbage bags. The average salary of American teachers has also fallen 4.5% over the past decade after adjusting for inflation, while the job has only become more dangerous thanks to COVID-19.
“This is so fucked up,” a Twitter user noted. “Let’s not pay the teachers enough and watch them fight for money while we record them.”
“It just shouldn’t be,” Martin Luther King Jr.’s youngest child Bernice King wrote on Twitter. She then quoted her father: “A nation that continues to spend more money on military defense than on social upliftment programs year after year is approaching spiritual catastrophe.
Teachers in South Dakota earn the least of almost any state in the country, with an average salary of around $ 49,000, according to the National Education Association. Only educators in Mississippi are worse off. And over the past decade, more and more school districts in South Dakota have started operating on a four-day week in part because of budget constraints.
Others opposed to “Dash for Cash” also noted on Twitter that the United States Is it that have the money to avoid such shows, given the mountain of COVID-19 relief money that states and local governments sometimes failed to use quickly and effectively during the pandemic.
“K-12 schools in South Dakota have $ 551 million in unspent COVID relief funds,” tweeted Angela Morabito, spokesperson for the conservative publication. Campus reform and a former press secretary in the Trump administration’s education department. “It was unnecessary and abusive.”
The 10 teachers who took part in the “Dash for Cash” event were able to win between $ 400 and $ 600 each during the Sioux Falls Stampede hockey game, according to the report. Chief of Argus. Educators told the newspaper that they intended to spend the money on items such as standing desks, seats, and document cameras; one educator even wanted to spend his earnings on equipping a high school esports club.
Jim Olander, the president of the Sioux Falls Stampede, told local CBS affiliate KELO that each school should register for the event and describe what teachers will use the funds for. The teachers also sold tickets to the game, with $ 5 of each ticket going to their respective schools, KELO reported.
“We know schools these days need funding and we’re just trying to play a small part to help them out and have fun while doing it,” Olander told KELO.
Olander and CU Mortgage Direct did not immediately return VICE News’ request for comment.