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Bill & Melinda Gates Just Gave Teachers a Back-to-School Boost

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Educated and healthy children will lead their communities out of poverty and build the thriving nations of tomorrow. With donations like these, more youths have access to quality education resources. You can join in helping to tackle this issue and others here.

While many shops around the country are offering back-to-school sales on supplies, not every teacher in the US can afford the items necessary to provide quality education to students.

But thanks to a generous boost from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation yesterday, ample help was received, reported Fast Company. Perhaps even more importantly, the issue received the added attention it deserves.

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The foundation amplified donations to DonorsChoose by contributing an additional $1 for every $2 donation. DonorsChoose is a crowdfunding website through which people from around the country and the world can help a teacher receive the supplies needed for their classrooms, ranging from textbooks to computers to carpeting.

All of the Gates Foundation funds dedicated for the gift were spent within 24 hours, but many more teachers can still use contributions.

According to a federal Department of Education survey released in May, 94% of public school teachers in the United States paid for supplies without reimbursement during the school year straddling 2014 and 2015, reported the New York Times.

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The report revealed that the issue impacted teachers in cities, suburbs, and rural areas, regardless of whether or not their students were poor.

“It’s almost expected, especially in the summer months creeping up into September,” Andy Yung, a pre-kindergarten teacher in Queens, told the Times. “It’s just something we kind of naturally do.”

Suffering from stagnant pay and underfunding institutions across the country, teachers have been speaking out in recent months through marches and protests, demanding more for their schools.

The cause has attracted the attention of celebrities, like actress Yvette Nicole Brown, who recently tweeted in support of DonorsChoose.

So far, lawmakers have appeared not to listen to the requests.

On Wednesday, breaking news alerts announced that education secretary Betsy Devos was reportedly considering whether to allow states to use federal funding to purchase not books, not musical instruments, nor computer equipment — but firearms for educators.