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Teach For America Announces Endowment With Investments From Four Leading Philanthropists on Eve of Its 20th Anniversary
Four National Funders Commit a Total of $100 Million to Ensure the Organization’s Sustainability
NEW YORK CITY, January 27, 2011—Teach For America announced today that it has established a permanent endowment fund comprised of four major philanthropic investments totaling $100 million. The endowment announcement kicks off Teach For America’s 20th Anniversary Summit, which will be held February 11-13 in Washington, D.C. and is expected to draw 10,000 participants.
The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation was the first philanthropic organization to commit to the endowment fund with a pledge of $25 million and called upon other funders to match this figure. Three additional philanthropic donors—the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, the Robertson Foundation, and Steve and Sue Mandel—stepped up and each provided $25 million in matching funds. The fund will be used to create a reliable, long-term stream of revenue to help support Teach For America’s ongoing efforts to recruit, train, and develop transformational teachers and leaders for pre-K-12 education.
“Teach For America is grateful to the four funders who have given so generously to establish a permanent endowment fund,” said Wendy Kopp, Teach For America’s founder and CEO. “This milestone comes at a critical moment as we reflect on the progress we have made over the last 20 years while recommitting ourselves to building the leadership force for educational excellence and equity.”
Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits top recent college graduates and young professionals to work in high- need classrooms across America and become advocates for education reform. Over the past 20 years, Teach For America has trained more than 28,000 recent college grads to work in rural and urban schools. Two-thirds of the program’s alumni continue to work full-time in education, half of them as classroom teachers and more than 550 as school principals or superintendents. Others hold influential positions in fields like policy, journalism, and government.
The 20th Anniversary Summit will bring together 10,000 corps members, alumni and supporters for a day of reflection and discussion about what more must be done to achieve educational excellence and equity. The summit will include dozens of entrepreneurial leaders among Teach For America’s alumni—including former District of Columbia Public Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee and KIPP Co-Founders Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin. They will be joined by education leaders such as American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, former New York City Department of Education Chancellor Joel Klein, author Malcolm Gladwell, and United Negro College Fund President Michael Lomax.
“Given Teach For America’s successful track record of recruiting the best and brightest college graduates to serve our most at-risk students, while operating with integrity, we’re proud to have made this long-term commitment,” said Eli Broad, founder of The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation. “Under Wendy Kopp’s leadership, Teach For America has quickly evolved from an innovative idea into what has become nothing less than an enduring American institution that has forever changed the landscape of public education.”
The endowment will generate about 2 percent of Teach For America’s annual operating budget and will become one of many funding sources for the organization, including federal and state government, national and regional foundations, corporations, and individuals.
“Teach For America is a crucial component in the effort to improve public education in the United States,” said Laura Arnold, co-founder of the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. “We have seen firsthand how Teach For America teachers and alumni are improving the educational trajectory for students from low-income families, and driving results-oriented innovations in policy and practice.”
Research has shown that Teach For America’s corps members are leading their students to significant academic achievement in some of America’s highest-need classrooms. A 2008-09 study by the Urban Institute found that Teach For America teachers have a positive effect on student achievement relative to other teachers, including experienced teachers, traditionally prepared teachers, and those fully certified in their field. In addition, a 2009 survey revealed that 94 percent of principals who work with corps members believe they have made a positive impact in their schools, and 95 percent rate corps members as effective or more effective than other beginning teachers, in terms of overall performance.
“We know that talent and leadership are the key ingredients for success in improving public schools,” said Julian Robertson, founder of the Robertson Foundation. “Teach For America is creating a pipeline of high-quality teachers and leaders for our public education system, and we are pleased to continue investing in its long-term impact and sustainability.”
Public funding will remain an integral part of Teach For America’s ability to grow in scale and impact, as will a strong base of national and local philanthropic support. Teach For America recently launched a five-year plan to double in size by 2015, establishing a teacher corps of 15,000 diverse leaders in 60 communities across the country and an alumni force of 44,000 leaders for educational equity.
“Teach For America is the human capital engine behind ending educational inequity in America,” said Steve Mandel, founder of the Lone Pine Foundation. “Its impact has already been significant, but will become even more profound in the decades ahead as it continues to grow.”
About Teach For America
Teach For America is the national corps of outstanding recent college graduates who commit to teach for two years in urban and rural public schools and become lifelong leaders in expanding educational opportunity. Today, more than 8,200 corps members are teaching in 39 regions across the country while 20,000 Teach For America alumni continue working from inside and outside the field of education for the fundamental changes necessary to ensure educational excellence and equity. For more information, visit www.teachforamerica.org.
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