Funds Raised Will Support Recruitment and Development of Corps Members Who Teach in High-Need Schools and Alumni Who Work in Schools and Across Sectors to Eliminate Educational Inequity
NEW YORK, N.Y., February 20, 2018—Ballmer Group, the philanthropic organization founded by Steve and Connie Ballmer, is granting $10 million, over five years, to Teach For America. The nonprofit organization will use the gift to recruit, train, and develop a diverse network of leaders who confront educational inequity through teaching and work with unwavering commitment from every sector to create a nation free from educational injustice.
“This extraordinary gift from Ballmer Group will advance our work to find, develop, and support a network of leaders who are committed to ensuring that all students in our country have the access and opportunities they deserve,” said Elisa Villanueva Beard, chief executive officer of Teach For America. “Our network is diverse in every way, and together we share an unwavering belief in the potential of every child and a fierce commitment to fulfilling that potential.”
Teach For America this spring is launching a new platform to engage and mobilize its diverse and powerful network of more than 50,000 alumni and 6,000 corps members. Called TFA Connect, the virtual platform will feature a national job board and directory that will empower alumni leaders to search for talent and self-organize around interests and issues that will help achieve educational equity.
“We support Teach For America in creating a pipeline of support to help close the opportunity gap in education,” said Jeff Edmondson, Managing Director of Ballmer Group. “The vast majority of Teach For America alumni continue to lead in classrooms, on boards, as elected officials, school administrators, and college deans. Their recruiting model helps ensure that teachers and future civic leaders represent the communities and students they serve, which helps all students—regardless of their race, ethnicity, or income level—get a high-quality education, which leads to greater economic mobility.”
Ballmer Group is making two additional gifts to support Teach For America in regions that are projected to grow their alumni and corps member base and strengthen their network of diverse leaders driving and supporting positive change across sectors that influence education. Teach For America - Los Angeles is slated to receive $2.25 million through 2020, and Teach For America - Washington will leverage at $1.5 million matching grant over the same time period.
“Teach For America has played an integral role in the Los Angeles education ecosystem for 26 years by contributing thousands of educational leaders, from the classroom to the capitol, who are motivated to eliminate education inequity in our city,” said Lida Jennings, executive director of Teach For America - Los Angeles. “We are incredibly grateful to Ballmer Group for recognizing the need for leaders in every sector who are committed to advancing educational equity and for supporting us as we provide path-changing experiences to students.”
“Potential is evenly distributed among Washington students, but opportunity is not. That’s why Teach For America - Washington is committed to recruiting and training high-quality teachers and leaders who will work every day to disrupt inequity and close the opportunity gap,” said Tony Byrd, executive director of Teach For America - Washington. “We want to thank Ballmer Group for this generous gift, which will allow our corps members and alumni to fuel the movement for educational equity in Washington.”
About Teach For America
Teach For America works in partnership with urban and rural communities in more than 50 regions across the country to expand educational opportunity for children. Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding leaders to make an initial two-year commitment to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the effort to end educational inequity. Today Teach For America is a force of 56,000 alumni and corps members committed to profound systemic change. From classrooms to districts to state houses across America, they’re reimagining education to realize the day when every child has an equal opportunity to learn, to grow, to influence and to lead. Teach For America is a proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network. For more information, visit teachforamerica.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Teach For America