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Las Vegas turns parking tickets into something good — by allowing drivers to pay in school supplies

Awesome idea

Photo by Robert Mora/Getty Images

Las Vegas officials approved a city plan that would permit drivers with parking tickets to pay their fines with school supplies.

The supplies would then ultimately be turned over to area schools for student use.

What are the details?

Proceeds from city parking tickets can be paid through a donation of school supplies, according to ABC News.

In a unanimous vote, the Las Vegas City Council made the allowance for a month — from June 19 to July 19.

Drivers who receive tickets during that time frame will be permitted to make a donation of school supplies that is of equal or greater value than their tickets. Drivers with such donations can drop the school supplies off at the Las Vegas Parking Services Office within a period of 30 days from receiving their ticket.

Permissible items include card stock, disinfectant wipes, erasers, index cards, paper towels, pens, pencil sharpeners, pencils, rulers, storage bins, and sticky notes.

Donations will be turned over to nonprofit crowdfunding website Teacher EXCHANGE, a "reuse/repurpose/surplus resource center" that provides supplies to teachers in southern Nevada.

According to The New York Times, 94 percent of U.S. public school teachers reported purchasing supplies out of their own pocket during the 2014-2015 school year.

What else?

CNN points out that the monthlong program is creative — but it isn't the first of its kind.

CNN's Madeline Holcombe writes, "Since July 2016, the city council has been running occasional programs to accept charitable donations in place of parking fines."

A news release from the city council reads:

Las Vegas City Council unanimously voted in favor of allowing parking tickets issued between today and July 19, 2019, to be paid with donations of school supplies. Any supplies taken in by the city through the program will be donated to the Teachers Exchange, a 501(c)3 nonprofit that is associated with the Public Education Foundation. Those who have a parking infraction in the city of Las Vegas between now and July 19 may satisfy their tickets by bringing new, unwrapped school supplies of equal or greater value to their fine to the Parking Services Offices at 500 S. Main St. This must be done within 30 days of the citation date and a purchase receipt for the donation is required. In addition, only non-public safety citations are eligible for this program. In July of 2016, the City Council adopted an ordinance authorizing the establishment of this occasional program allowing for charitable donations in lieu of payment for parking fines.
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