My name is Philip Brown and I’m one of Arizona’s working poor. I am a full time high school teacher and I have lost faith in the education system. However, I am not leaving education. To abandon education is to allow it to continue its downward spiral until … well, the end is unknown, but dark.
I am starting a nonprofit organization called Arizona’s Working Poor. Here a team of creative, devoted and willing people will work to raise money that will be used to supplement teacher salaries, directly to the teachers individually (…keeping top-heavy district office and grubby politicians out of it).
My goal is to establish Arizona’s Working Poor as a recognized nonprofit organization with both the state of Arizona and the IRS. That means where the money raised goes is 100% transparent and known. Where it is going to go is to teachers in need based on their annual take-home pay. We will start at home, at my current high school (Rio Rico High School, which has been selected by two separate entities as the school of the year for the nation this year!), and then work our way to other sites in the district and eventually onto other districts and hopefully across our wonderful state.
Teachers do not get into education to get rich, of course. However, our living wages (take home pay) has steadily decreased over the past decade, with all signs pointing to the trend continuing. There are many stories of teachers on welfare, having to borrow money from family members to make ends meet, and something around 80% of us hold two or more jobs.
This is a non-sustainable situation for our society. Education is important and we need high quality people in the positions of teachers. To have a dead-end financial situation presented to potential teachers is unacceptable.
While I can do little about the political structure, I can do something to help. That’s what I do, I’m a teacher. I serve others, helping them with difficult things. This venture is no different in that respect.
To get started with all of the paperwork filings, attorneys to make sure that we are doing things the right way, internet presence, and some seed money to start projects to raise money to establish a record of appropriate, honest and transparent business practices, I am asking those willing to support in two ways.
First, if you find this idea to be meritorious please share it on social media and spread news by word of mouth. Second, if you are in the fortunate position to send a few dollars our way, we will use every penny to meet our stated goal, which is to improve the financial outlook of teachers in Arizona.
I estimate that $2,500 will be needed to get everything started.
For those able to donate and those that can only spread the word I am grateful. I am humbled by all shows of faith and wish to use all support to promote a better education system for our youth by promoting a higher quality of life for our teachers.
I respectfully thank you for your time and consideration,