Many of the fine folks over on Science Blogs are taking part in DonorsChoose Blogger Challenge. The money raised goes to directly helping science education in American schools. Many are for equipment that many districts can not afford to get on their own. It is a shame teachers have to beg for money but that is the system we have in America.
It is only getting worse under Bush but things really weren't that great under Clinton. Neither party really has a plan to deal with the disparity in funding for education in America. As long as we base it on property taxes, students living in poor districts are going to be behind.
The teachers behind these projects want to engage their students to critically think which is vital, many times through hand on learning.
So go DONATE and advocate for CHANGE - Do NOT accept things as they are!