(TMU) — The city of Las Vegas has devised a novel way that people can pay parking tickets: by purchasing supplies for local public schools.
The Las Vegas City Council has unanimously decided that drivers with parking citations and non-public safety citations that need to be paid, will be able to donate new school supplies to satisfy traffic courts through July 19, according to the Las Vegas Sun.
The donations must be worth as much or more than the fine and must also be accompanied by a sales receipt, officials said.
The supplies can include pens, pencils, paper towels, dry erase markers, storage bins, rulers, and post-it notes, among other acceptable supplies.
Donations will go to the Teachers Exchange, a local nonprofit organization associated with the Public Education District, and will be distributed among classroom throughout the Clark County School District.
In July of 2016, the city authorized the program, which sometimes allows charitable donations to be given in lieu of cash payments for parking fines.
Schools are increasingly finding themselves short on supplies, with many educators being forced to dig into their own pockets year after year to ensure that their students receive the adequate gear needed to get through their semesters.
According to a recent survey, nearly all (94 percent) of U.S. public school teachers spend their own money on their pupils amid teachers’ complaints about inadequate pay and a need for dignified salaries.
Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) union, has blasted the lack of funding for U.S. public schools. In a statement last year, she said:
“Educators want to help children; that is why as long as their kids lack the essentials, educators will continue to dig deep, while fighting the defunding and underinvestment that created this crisis in the first place.
There is no other job I know where the workers subsidize what should be a cost borne by an employer as a necessary ingredient of the job.”
The move by the Las Vegas City Council shows a unique approach to the crisis of the under-funding facing schools today, and ensures that parking ticket revenue that would normally end up in the city’s general fund will instead go toward improving the educations of local children.
So if you happen to be in Vegas and you end up with a parking ticket, just pay up by buying some school supplies! Our teachers and youth will be grateful.