THE Department of Education has been forced into an embarrassing backdown over a Marburg State School crowdfunding venture.
The story began yesterday when local resident and ABC community correspondent Jenny Ostini reported to Spencer Howson's ABC local radio breakfast program about the school's P&C plans to raise $10,000 to help its year 6 and 7 students get onto the school annual trip to Canberra and the snowfields.
The P&C reps told Ms Ostini they had exhausted all the usual methods of fundraising such as sausage sizzles and the like and had set up a project on Chuffed.org to expand their donor base.
The crowsourcing request contains a video that Marburg students put together called "Our Canberra Adventure" from their small school 1,183 km away from the national capital.
The ABC exposure helped donations flood in during the day.
However late last night Mr Howson took to Twitter to tell his followers the plan had run into problems with officialdom.
"Unbelieveable," he tweeted, "Ed Qld has told Marburg SS it's not allowed to fundraise via a 3rd party (crowdfunding site)."
Mr Howson's tweet unleashed a barrage of outraged complaints on social media against the Department's actions with many people pointing out they allowed many types of fundraising activities.
This morning Education Minister John Paul Langbroek confirmed the Department had acted hastily but he had since overridden the order.
"We have a had a rule or a policy because sometimes there is a big cut taken by fundraising on behalf of schools or other organisations where we are not confident the money is going where it is supposed to be," Mr Langbroek said.
"But in the case of crowdfunding in the case of this particular video which I've seen, it is very innovative and I commend them for it and we are going to see more examples of it."
Mr Langbroek said they were only trying to be protective of schools.
"But in this case we were overzealous," he said.
"We encourage them to get it back online."
The website is again active and at the time of writing the school had raised $911 towards their $10,000 target.
You can donate here.
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