One city has asked teachers to "Dash for Cash" to fund their classrooms.

A local business pitted teachers in South Dakota against one another in a Saturday competition for school funds that some viewed as "demeaning," even comparing it to Netflix's Squid Game.

Ten teachers from Sioux City were asked to "Dash for Cash" across an ice rink, where a carpet was laid out with $5,000 in one-dollar bills sitting on it. The teachers were asked to grab as many dollar bills as they could to go toward either their classroom or school, reports the Argus Leader.


The $5,000 was donated by CU Mortgage Direct, reports the Argus Leader. "With everything that has gone on for the last couple of years with teachers and everything, we thought it was an awesome group thing to do for the teachers," said Ryan Knudson, director of business development and marketing for the company. "The teachers in this area, and any teacher, they deserve whatever the heck they get."

Alexandria Kuyper, a fifth-grade teacher who competed in the dash, said that while her parent-teacher organization allows her to write grants to receive funding for her classroom needs, there are a lot of smaller needs that can add up.

"I think it's really cool when the community offers an opportunity like this for things that educations a lot of times pay out of pocket for," Kuyper said. Others are using it to fund things such as local esports clubs.

The teachers who competed each earned between $378 and $616 in prize money.

While some may see the event as fun, others see it as an indictment of education's funding issues. "This just feels demeaning," tweeted Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers. "Teachers shouldn't have to dash for dollars for classroom supplies." Others compared the competition to Netflix's Squid Game, a show in which Korean residents compete in violent games for cash prizes.


South Dakotan teachers earned an average of $48,984 as a salary in 2020, according to the National Education Association. The NEA ranks the average wage as the lowest for teachers in any state in the United States.