Teachers

Oklahoma teacher panhandles for money to buy classroom supplies

A public school teacher has turned to panhandling at an Oklahoma interstate off-ramp to raise money to buy classroom supplies for her third-grade students.

Teresa Danks, a teacher in the Tulsa Public Schools system, stood at the busy Interstate-44 intersection Tuesday begging for spare change with a scrawled sign that said, “Teacher Needs School Supplies! Anything Helps.”

“All I want to do is give those kids the best,” Danks told Fox 23 Tulsa.

State education budget cuts have forced Danks to pay for supplies with her own money, the station reported. Her teacher salary is $35,000.

“I easily pay $2,000, $3,000 out of pocket every year to make it happen for my kids,” Danks told the station.

She added, “It all adds up week after week and month after month. So it’s a huge need.”

It didn’t take long for her to raise $80.

Danks choked up as she told the station she was overwhelmed by the response.

“I find I’m getting emotional talking about it,” she said.

She told the station she hopes other teachers join her effort to focus attention on the budget crisis in the Oklahoma state capitol.