Thursday, May 07, 2015


This seems like a feel-good story, but it doesn't make me feel good:
Comedian Stephen Colbert announced Thursday that he would fund every existing grant request South Carolina public school teachers have made on the education crowdfunding website

Colbert partnered with Share Fair Nation and ScanSource to fund nearly 1,000 projects for more than 800 teachers at over 375 schools, totaling $800,000....
This story comes from a newspaper in Greenville, South Carolina. Here are some of the local projects being funded:
This is what teachers in Greenville have asked for help with on

... Amanda Wilson, special education - A trampoline and treadmill for sensory therapy: $504

Beth Bailey, media specialist - books that are good for girls: $408

Stacie Campbell, kindergarten - dodge balls for recess play: $165....
Is this a heartwarming story? Yeah, I guess -- but to me it's heartbreaking that teachers in the richest country on earth have to beg for balls to use at recess or therapeutic equipment for special-ed kids.

A few other items that will be funded:
16 new bulletin boards: $202

... A set of write and wipe pockets and write and wipe erasers: $179

... Classroom library books: $239
If we had a proper sense of values in this country, we'd never want something like this to go public, even if it really was the only way the kids could get what they need. We wouldn't want it known that we weren't doing right by the next generation.

But we're just so used to this in America. We're the greatest country on earth, we always say, even though we fall short in so many ways. We're actually proud when a generous rich person such as Colbert lets us off the hook. Instead, we should be ashamed.

For the record, the population of South Carolina as of 2014 was 4,832,482. The $800,000 in projects Colbert is funding could have been funded by an extra 16 cents in taxes per South Carolina resident. Why is that too much to ask?

(Via Daily Kos.)


John Taylor said...

There is always money for weapons, never for anything that will actually add to our quality of life.

Victor said...

What John Taylor said!!!

And the money for defense still pours out, even though we have less and less actually worth defending...

Bill Murray said...

Having lived in Greenville, SC. I'm not surprised at all. Anything that might benefit someone who aren't your immediate family members is frowned upon. Of course the second sentence out of someone's mouth when they meet you is, "So, where do you go to church?"

Pops said...

And you can rest assured that in SC the cries of "class warfare" would ring if you tried to raise taxes on millionaires.

Anonymous said...

My hunch is that most people there would say, sure, of course, those are all reasonable requests, but probably there are $800K worth of unreasonable requests already being funded with MAH TACKS MONAY!! They feel like there's already plenty of money to go around, if only The Gummit stopped wasting the money they already have.

Unknown said...

I ain't gone buy sum bitch no trampoline. Ain't even got one my own self.