Seattle lawyer shocked by shrinking teacher budgets

When Katie Moore heard about one teacher’s classroom budget for the year, she was shocked.

“I was out to dinner with a young a woman who teaches at a public school in San Diego,” she explained. “She finished her budget and she had $100 left for the year. That meant she would have to spend her own money on her students. She feels that her job is to make sure all her students have the same supplies and opportunities in the classroom.”

Some students come to class with empty backpacks and no breakfast every day. From no fault of their own, poverty impacts their ability to learn and keep up with their peers unless their teacher steps in to help.

“I thought, ‘That’s not right,’” said Mrs. Moore. “There’s got to be a better way to help those students that feel forgotten. Maybe if those students felt like someone was valuing them a little bit more then they would have the confidence in themselves to try harder in school.”

Mrs. Moore searched online for a way to help and that’s how she found

“When it comes to making a donation, the more direct your impact is the better,” she said. “Who knows what that classroom needs? It’s the teacher. Teachers are in the best position to have a positive effect on their class every day.”

As an attorney for more than 30 years, Mrs. Moore has a lot of experience in classrooms. She grew up in Ashville, NC where learning came naturally to her. With six younger brothers and sisters she was used to taking the lead at home and at school.

Today, Mrs. Moore splits her time between Washington and California. Now that she has a better understanding of how teachers struggle to support her students, she is again taking the lead to encourage others to help.

“I don’t think people who don’t have children in public schools pay much attention,” she said. “However, when they find out the problems teachers face today, they want to do something. A classroom adoption is a way to start a relationship with a teacher and a school. That thread of a connection has great potential to grow and make a difference.”

For Mrs. Moore, that connection started with her friend who teaches in San Diego.

“If I would not have had that brief conversation during dinner, then I wouldn’t have thought about this,” she said. “She is doing cool projects with her 9th grade class to get them motivated. They’re going to have so much more confidence in themselves and cope better when things don’t go their way. I think that is what separates successful and not successful people. It’s how you get through the bad days that are going to make you successful. Those skills can start in 9th grade.”

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