So Cal education, LAUSD, the Cal States and the UCs

Helping teachers one latte at a time

DonorsChoose

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A teacher is able to supply guitars to his students thanks to gift card donations as part of a partnership between LAUSD and the Wasserman Foundation (using the online nonprofit DonorsChoose.org).

Looks like buying that latte will also bring good karma Monday.

Nearly 200 L.A. Starbucks coffee shops will give away 285,000 gift cards — worth $10 each — to the public Monday so that they can help pay for an LAUSD or charter school classroom project, officials said.

The money comes as part of a unique partnership between the district and the Wasserman Foundation that launched in November. Through the program teachers have, to date, received about $2 million to buy supplies ranging from paper to iPads. 

The foundation donated $4 million for teachers in the form of gift cards ($2 million broken up into $15 cards and sent out to schools) and matching funds (up to $1 million each year for two years). The gift cards qualify for matching funds as well, as long as there are no more than two projects for a total of $1,000 each per teacher. The district sent the cards out to schools in December, and each school decided how best to get them to the district's roughly 600,000 parents, district officials said.

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Not enough printer paper? LA Unified teachers get more than $2 million in help to buy supplies

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Tim Boyle/Getty Images News

teachers get to the point

Milca Ruz, a third grade teacher at Garvanza Elementary School in northeast L.A. probably spends about $4,000 of her own money on school supplies each year.

Ruz, 39, has been a teacher since 1996. These days her worry is printer paper. She is allotted two boxes, or 10,000 sheets, a year. Only a few months into the school year, she's working her way through the second box. With continuing budget cuts, a new reading and language arts curriculum, and not enough books, she uses a lot of paper making copies so students can do grammar exercises.

Well, here's a happy ending for once. Thanks to a unique partnership between the district and the Wasserman Foundation, which launched in November, Ruz and other teachers like her, have received hundreds of dollars to pay for supplies.

To date, teachers have received more than $2 million in donations from parents under this partnership; teachers have used the money to buy school supplies ranging from crayons to digital cameras, said Lydia Ramos, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Unified School District.

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