On May 9, the Houston ISD Board of Trustees voted against renewing Teach For America’s contract with the district. This decision sent shock waves throughout the education community.
After nearly 30 years of partnership, the decision was stunning.
At the heart of our collective concern are the thousands of children in HISD who are in great need of a quality education and who will not have access to our dedicated group of teacher leaders that can help them reach their full potential. The HISD decision means principals in the district will not be able to hire incoming 2019 corps members (more than 15 of whom are HISD graduates) but allows 2018 corps members beginning their second year to stay in their classrooms.
Our commitment to one day for all children is unwavering.
This month, we welcomed over 100 new corps members who will join other school systems in the greater Houston area. They have already begun their summer training and are excited to begin their journey as change makers in their classrooms and communities this fall, leading brilliant children eager to learn.
These new teachers have a support system of more than 1,700 Teach For America corps members and alumni in Houston and a network of 60,000 leaders nationally. Locally, this network includes hundreds of educators, dozens of non-profit leaders, as well as community members in many fields including healthcare, law, and public policy. All of these leaders are bound by the experience of having taught children with limitless potential, having led students to achieve what others thought impossible, and a commitment to fighting for an excellent education for all children.
The power of Teach For America is that we are a collective support system working towards one day for all children.
There are many ways people contribute to our mission and TFA Houston’s impact in the region remains vibrant thanks to partnerships with community leaders, public school districts, and funding from generous donors and the Texas legislature. We are proud to work alongside all of our trusted partners to provide a dedicated pipeline of leaders fueling change for the better in Houston classrooms, schools and beyond.
In the days and weeks after the board vote, we’ve received vocal support from parents and community members who believe in the promise of an excellent education for all children. They’ve spoken out because they know that Teach For America teachers, principals, district leaders, and community members, working in partnership with other educators, are critical to realizing this vision. We could not be more grateful for the outpouring of support and want you all to know that this decision has only strengthened our resolve and commitment to serving the children of Houston.
Thank you for your passion and commitment to kids. We will stay the course and remain committed to the vision that one day, all children in Houston will have the opportunity to attain an excellent education.
Yours in the movement,
Tiffany Cuellar Needham (Houston Corps, 2003)
Teach For America Houston