Union rep: Teachers should not be crawling on ice for money

December 13, 2021 GMT

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A fundraising event that featured teachers on their hands and knees fetching dollar bills between periods of a junior hockey league game in South Dakota should not have happened, the head of the state’s teachers union said Monday.

The so-called “Dash For Cash” event Saturday night in Sioux Falls was a competition from which 10 local teachers were selected to shovel up money for school projects they outlined before being selected to participate. They had five minutes to collect as many of the 5,000 one-dollar bills that were spread out on carpet at center ice of the home arena for the Sioux Falls Stampede.

The most money gathered by a teacher was $616, the Sioux Falls Argus Leader reported.

Many critics on social media called the event demeaning. Loren Paul, president of the South Dakota Education Association, said it showed that the state needs to do better for its teachers and students when it comes to funding education.

“While the Dash for the Cash may have been well-intentioned, it only underscores the fact that educators don’t have the resources necessary to meet the needs of their students,” Paul said. “As a state, we shouldn’t be forcing teachers to crawl around on an ice rink to get the money they need to fund their classrooms.”

Ryan Knudson, the director of business development and marketing for CU Mortgage Direct, which donated money for the event, and Stampede President Jim Olander did not respond to phone and email messages left Monday by The Associated Press.