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San Antonio

Changemakers and coalition builders are working in San Antonio to level the educational playing field for kids and communities.
Teach For America San Antonio
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About Us

Steeped in a rich cultural history exemplified by the World Heritage Site San Antonio Missions, the Alamo City has its eye on the future and designs on how to shape it. San Antonio is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States because of its attractiveness to both the tech and business industries and its small-town feel. With a myriad of organizations devoted to community growth and enrichment, San Antonio’s level of community engagement sets an example for the nation.

Teach For America is among those working towards a better tomorrow for San Antonio.

Over the past ten years, we have brought over 750 teachers to work in San Antonio’s inner city and it’s currently a home to over 450 Teach For America alumni. In addition to the many teachers that remain in the classroom, TFA alumni serve on school boards, manage local nonprofits, and lead schools as principals and administrators. Alumni also work in a variety of private industries throughout San Antonio, including the law and medicine. In only a few short years, the TFA network has become a force for transformation.

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Our Opportunity

San Antonio is the seventh most populous city in the United States, but maintains a small-town feel. Demographers point to the city’s population as an indicator of the future for the United States. San Antonio is now where Texas will be in a decade and where the U.S. will be in 20 to 30 years. Since San Antonio is ahead of the curve, it has an opportunity to be a model for how the rest of the country can transform education to meet the needs of changing demographics.

Unlike other large cities, San Antonio does not have a single traditional school district. Instead, it’s home to over 17 different school districts. The barriers between these districts formed due to inequitable systems that separated communities by race and class. Today, San Antonio has the infamous designation as the most economically segregated city in the United States according to the Pew Research Center. The urban core is home to disproportionate percentages of students of color and students growing up in poverty. Indeed, San Antonio ISD (SAISD), the school district in the heart of downtown San Antonio, serves a 97 percent Latino and African American student body, 93 percent of which are considered economically disadvantaged. Students growing up in the urban core face significant and persistent challenges that impact their ability to obtain an equitable education.

In recent years, transformation in San Antonio has been driven, in part, by a growing desire for innovation. An increase in innovative school models including in-district magnets, and charter schools has allowed for more autonomy and creativity in the construction of educational experiences for our students. Many of these schools, powered and led by the talent of our corps members and alumni, have demonstrated proof of what is possible for youth who have been dismissed for generations.

“I educate in San Antonio because I understand that there is a need to uplift all communities and I am passionate about creating possibilities for our students that are beyond the lines of economic segregation.”

Lebon James

Assistant Principal, Whittier Middle School, SAISD

San Antonio Corps Member 2012

Changemakers wanted.

Check your eligibility to join the San Antonio corps today.
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Our Work

In 2010, thousands of people in San Antonio gathered around tables to discuss and determine the city’s top priorities and create a vision for what the San Antonio of 2020 could become. Together, our community identified 11 “cause areas” and created the SA2020 vision. The area that rose to the top over and over again was education.

In the same year the community created SA2020, Teach For America San Antonio launched. Over the last eight years, Teach For America has been a partner in advancing education in three key ways.

1. Accomplishing extraordinary results on alumni- and corps member-led campuses

1. Accomplishing extraordinary results on alumni- and corps member-led campuses

KIPP U-Prep, led by alumni Abigail Morton Garland, is the only campus in central Texas providing an International Baccalaureate program for all students. The Advanced Learning Academy is an unprecedented public-private partnership with a dramatically altered approach to student leadership. KIPP Poder, in it’s third year, has a leadership staff filled with alumni and is one of the top performing middle schools in the KIPP Texas Network. And finally IDEA campuses at Monterey Park, South Flores, and Carver each have a 100 percent college acceptance rate. Additionally, San Antonio corps members and alumni are consistently recognized among the top performing educators within the district. 

Bronx Graduation Image

2. Providing bold leadership and driving critical reforms

2. Providing bold leadership and driving critical reforms

Without question, a key driver of many education initiatives changing the status quo and galvanizing the city toward change has been the bold leadership of Teach For America corps members and alumni. You can find TFA fingerprints across all critical reform efforts in the city including: DoSeum, PK4SA, KIPP, IDEA, Leadership SAISD, SA Rise, Relay, The Holdsworth Center, and many more.

One middle-aged male and two young adult females walk down the stairs outside of a large brick school building.

3. Providing thought leadership focused on equity

3. Providing thought leadership focused on equity

One of our proudest contributions has been reframing city discourse on the roots of educational inequity. We have seen our community’s dialogue turn away from a narrative that scapegoats parents and communities, and instead it seeks to understand and identify systemic racism as the root cause of educational inequity. Our partnerships with top experts in the field have fueled how we train corps members, positioning them to make the biggest impact in the classroom. Additionally, we have been able to lift the messages of our experts to decision-makers in the community. These efforts have shaped the turnaround efforts of the SAISD Superintendent and shaped the way the city of San Antonio allocates funds.

Teacher looks happily at her students' work.

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Living and Teaching Here

Living and Teaching Here

While San Antonio is the seventh largest city in the nation, it feels like a familia. There’s something for everyone and when there’s a gathering, everyone attends! The low cost of living and broad options for food and entertainment make San Antonio a place you can’t beat. Below are some other considerations to help you decide if San Antonio is a good fit for you.

A theater marquee reads "We love you San Antonio. See you soon."

Neighborhood Highlights

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Your generosity helps us build a future in which all of San Antonio's children can learn, lead, and thrive.