AUSTIN – Commissioner of Education Mike Morath has advised that school systems needing instructional materials—either because of enrollment of students displaced by Hurricane Harvey or from property damage caused by the hurricane—can create an online list to inform potential donors of those specific needs.
At the same time, individuals, organizations, school systems and other entities wishing to donate instructional materials to help fulfill those specific needs can do so by visiting the Texas Education Agency’s Instructional Materials Assistance web page: https://tea.texas.gov/Academics/Hurricane_Harvey_Instructional_Materials_Assistance/.
“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,” said Commissioner Morath. “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.”
Commissioner Morath referred to the electronic system as a type of “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 needs list completely or in part. 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.
To date, 14 school districts have created needs lists in the system. The materials on those lists total approximately $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.
“These lists give you details that allow you to donate exactly what a district needs to best serve its students,” said Commissioner Morath.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about the TEA Instructional Materials Assistance web page and to upload a needs list or offer to fulfill an uploaded list, visit https://tea.texas.gov/Academics/Hurricane_Harvey_Instructional_Materials_Assistance/.