clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Stephen Colbert just bought South Carolina teachers everything they wanted

Pool/Getty Images
Libby Nelson is Vox's policy editor, leading coverage of how government action and inaction shape American life. Libby has more than a decade of policy journalism experience, including at Inside Higher Ed and Politico. She joined Vox in 2014.

Stephen Colbert just announced an $800,000 gift to South Carolina teachers — enough to fund every project in the state on DonorsChoose, the teacher crowdfunding website. Colbert, the Morgridge Family Foundation, and ScanSource, an education technology company, funded nearly 1,000 projects at 375 schools. It wiped out all the open requests from South Carolina teachers.

Colbert said he was inspired to do this in part because he attended South Carolina public schools himself.

South Carolina spends about 10 percent less per pupil than before the recession, and some of the teachers' requests are for supplies that wealthier schools take for granted. A high-poverty school in North Charleston needed a $7 roll of tape and $60 worth of vocabulary flash cards. A teacher in Greenville asked for pencils because his students at a poor middle school often don't have them and he couldn't afford to buy enough to keep giving them away on his own. Several teachers asked for pencil sharpeners. A high-poverty school in the tiny town of Cope needed calculators.

WATCH: Why are teachers expected to fix poverty?