Thursday, July 28, 2011

Walton Family Foundation Pledges Money To Teach For America

School may be out for the summer, but Alice Cooper was wrong on one count: It's not out forever. 

This is especially true when it comes to funding for educational organizations.  As was reported on The NonProfit Times yesterday, the Walton Family Foundation (WFF) pledged $49.5 million to Teach For America (TfA).  These funds will be distributed over a three-year period, with half of the money supporting TfA's goal of doubling the size of its teaching corps and assisting their network of alumni leaders in education.  The other half will support ongoing training and professional development.

This is not the first time that WFF, which is headed by the three children of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, has helped out Teach For America.  Since 1993, they have been the largest private donor to the organization at $22 million.  This newest donation specifically targets areas in the Delta Region of Arkansas and Mississippi.  There has been some speculation that the reason these areas were targeted is because Wal-Mart has recently expanded stores into those areas.  Jim Blew, leader of K-12 Education Reform efforts for WFF, has strongly denied these charges in a telephone interview:

"That’s nonsense.  We’ve been actively involved in these communities for several years now and we are interested in getting more teachers and looking for the leaders of tomorrow.”
If you are interested in reading the full article, head on over to NPT's website.

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