Yes, teachers in South Dakota fought over money for school supplies


A video of teachers jostling each other in a pit for money has gone viral, with many criticizing the premise as humiliating and dystopian. The video was taken at a charity event during the Sioux Falls Stampede hockey game on December 11, 2021, in South Dakota, where 10 teachers argued over money to buy supplies for their classrooms. , sponsored by CU Mortgage Direct bank.

According to the description of the event on the Stampede Hockey Team’s website:

New this season, the Stampede and CU Mortgage Direct are looking for teachers who would like to raise money for their classes! Not just money, but over $ 5,000 will be donated to local schools! Teachers will compete to raise funds in two ways.

1) Tickets – Each teacher will have their own ticket link that they can share. Each ticket purchased will equal $ 5 going back to their school! In addition, the teachers who sell the most will receive additional prizes.

2) Dash for Cash – During the 1st intermission on December 11, teachers will compete to collect as much money as possible! There will be 5,000 $ 1 bills on the ice and teachers can keep whatever money they collect for their class!

In the video, teachers crawl around a pit, grabbing as many dollar bills as they can in five minutes. Critics online have called it dehumanizing and disgusting.

CU Mortgage Direct bank had donated the money, according to the BBC. In response to the backlash, the company apologized in a statement, “While our intention was to provide a positive and fun experience for teachers, we can see how demeaning and insulting this seems to participating teachers and the teacher. teaching profession as a whole. . We deeply regret and apologize to all teachers for any embarrassment this may have caused. “

The teachers involved told the local Sioux Falls newspaper Argus Leader about the event. Alexandria Kuyper, a fifth-grade teacher, said it would help cover the costs of holiday treats and decorations. “I think it’s really cool when the community offers an opportunity like this for things that [educators] often they pay out of pocket, ”she said.

Another said he would use the money to purchase equipment for his online sports club, which was not a South Dakota High School Activities Association sanctioned sport, so he relied on donations and fundraisers.

Sioux Falls Education Association President Tim Eckart criticized the event: “While this event is a well-meaning gesture from our community, it really highlights the meager funding structure our teachers need to use to provide a high quality education to our students. No educator should have to crawl on their hands and knees to provide appropriate teaching tools for our students. “

In total, each teacher ended up with money ranging from $ 300 to around $ 500. After the controversy, the bank and the hockey team announced that they would give more money to each participating teacher:

According to the National Education Association, the average annual salary for teachers in South Dakota is nearly $ 49,000. This makes it one of the lowest salaries for teachers in the United States.


“Apologies to American teachers for the dash for cash charity stunt. BBC News, December 14, 2021., Accessed December 14, 2021.

“Teacher Compensation and Student Expenses: How Does Your State Rank?” | NEA. National Education Association, Accessed December 14, 2021.

Dash for Cash. Accessed December 14, 2021.

“‘Dash for Cash’ provided a strong metaphor for chronic underfunding of education, of teacher pay.” Sioux Falls Argus Leader, Accessed December 14, 2021.

“Dash for Cash” stunts demean teachers, critics say. CBS News, December 13, 2021. Accessed December 14, 2021.

«Reviews | The organizers of South Dakota’s Dash for Cash really thought they had done something. MSNBC.Com, December 14, 2021, Accessed December 14, 2021.

“Sioux Falls area teachers ‘Dash for Cash’ for classroom improvements to the Stampede Game.” Sioux Falls Argus Leader, December 11, 2021, Accessed December 14, 2021.

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