Texas Education Agency Portal Set Up For Donations To Hurricane-Affected Schools

AUSTIN, TX — School systems needing instructional materials for students displaced by Hurricane Harvey or in the wake of property damage can create online lists to solicit donations for specific needs, the commissioner of education said.

Additionally, Commissioner Mike Morath said individuals, organizations, school systems and others wishing to donate instructional materials to affected schools can do so by visiting the Texas Education Agency’s Instructional Materials Assistance website found by clicking here.

“Many school systems hit by Hurricane Harvey still have specific needs to help get them in a position to effectively educate children in their community,” Morath said. “From the initial days of the hurricane, many people have stepped forward wanting to help. The TEA Instructional Materials Assistance web page provides a way to see what school districts truly need and then allow for those needs to be met.”

Morath likened the donations portal as something akin to a “wedding registry” where school districts can post their instructional materials needs in hopes of finding a donor that can fulfill those needs. Donors can elect to fulfill a district’s entire needs list or just a portion of it. The system (which utilizes the agency’s established educational materials ordering system known as EMAT) then updates the list to help avoid duplication of supply donations, Morath explained.

To date, 14 school districts have created needs lists in the system, with materials on those lists totaling about $1.2 million. The system has paired three potential donating districts with three districts in need. One district has already indicated all its identified needs are filled, the commissioner noted.

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“These lists give you details that allow you to donate exactly what a district needs to best serve its students,” he said.

Items on a district’s needs lists can be provided several ways:

Other Texas or out-of-state districts that own more of the specific listed materials than they need can work directly with a district in need to ship the materials to that district. (TEA will pay the shipping charges for in-state districts.)Donors can purchase materials from publishers and donate them to a district in need, or they can donate money to the district and specify which materials it is intended for. Other entities that have the needed materials available for sale at a reduced price (e.g., recycled book sellers) can contact a district in need with that pricing information.

The TEA Instructional Materials Assistance web page provides information (including instructional videos) on how to utilize the EMAT system to help affected school systems. TEA also provides an email option for non-districts to donate by emailing instructional.materials@tea.texas.gov.

To learn more about the TEA Instructional Materials Assistance web page and to upload a needs list or offer to fulfill an uploaded list, click here.

>>> Image via Shutterstock

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