David McCalla, the principal of (public) Albany High School in New York, wanted to purchase SMART Boards for all the classrooms in his building. (For those who don’t know what SMART Boards are, I use them in my math classrooms every day and *trust* me when I say they’re amazing. I’d be lost without them.)
Anyway, for McCalla, the total cost to put the equipment in each classroom was $275,000. Not a good-looking number when you already have budget issues.
With the school board grappling with budget problems, he took an unconventional route by approaching some Albany church leaders.
“Getting the widest range of people, the quickest way is through the church,” he said.
On a recent weekday, McCalla met with the ministers to demonstrate the boards, known as interactive whiteboards, and show what the city’s students were missing out on.
By the end of the week, they called a news conference and already had begun collecting donations from their church members and challenging local businesses to help them raise $60,000 by the end of January so the school could buy 30 new of the boards.
As far as I can tell, there are no strings attached to the financial contributions. It’s hard for me to criticize the principal for going to the religious groups in the community to ask for help when it’s tough to get that money from other sources. I also commend the churches for helping the children and teachers.
But I still feel a bit queasy about this relationship… do you?
Is the principal crossing the line by reaching out to the church community? If not, what would have to happen before that line was crossed?
(Thanks to Trace for the link)