The Arizona Department of Education allocated $14 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds to help prekindergarten to 12th grade public school teachers get classroom resources through DonorsChoose, according to Kathy Hoffman, superintendent of public instruction. 

The collaboration between the department and the nonprofit crowdfunding website is the largest of its kind in the nation and will provide Arizona educators with up to $1,000 in funding for their projects, empowering them to support their students’ success with classroom resources. This money will fund projects for nearly a quarter of Arizona’s public school teachers.

“Arizona educators have gone above and beyond for their students during the most challenging years our public schools have ever faced,” Hoffman said.

“While this is not a substitute for much-needed wage increases, I am honored to support our teachers with direct classroom funding. I have no doubt teachers across our state will immediately put these resources to good use in supporting the needs of Arizona’s students. By investing in our teaching workforce, we say thank you to our state’s teachers and recognize their expertise in their classrooms.”

Agua Fria High School teacher Alli Rai is appreciative of the move.

“DonorsChoose has allowed me to provide opportunities, essentials and extras to my students that were not within my normal classroom or school budget. By doing so, this has allowed me to be the best teacher possible to my students and has allowed my students to grow and thrive in ways I could have only have imagined,” Rai said.

“A partnership between the Arizona Department of Education and DonorsChoose will bring so many additional learning enrichment opportunities to Arizona students, as well as a smile to Arizona teachers. This partnership will help me provide my students with essentials and opportunities to finish the school year strong.”

All Arizona public school educators who teach students in prekindergarten to 12th grade are eligible for this program. Educators can request classroom resources, including but limited to supplies, technology and instructional materials.

Since Charles Best founded DonorsChoose in 2000, more than 14,000 Arizona teachers representing school districts across the state have raised $24 million for projects that help them go above and beyond in the classroom. The new collaboration between ADE and DonorsChoose will further this support for educators across Arizona.

“Our partnership with the Arizona Department of Education will help teachers who create exceptional projects for their classrooms,” Best said. “This milestone collaboration is a testament to Arizona’s commitment to empowering its teachers and enriching its students’ education.”

Educators can learn how to create an eligible DonorsChoose project by visiting azed.gov/teachergrants