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Teach for America, Inc. wanted so badly to be in Seattle that in the contract with the Seattle Public School system, it is stated that we don’t have to pay if a donor can’t be found.
Here is that portion of the agreement:
i. Seattle Public Schools shall pay Teach For America an annual fee for each Teacher employed by Seattle Public Schools under this Agreement to defray expenses Teach For America incurred in recruiting, selecting, providing pre-service training and continuing professional development services to the Teachers employed by Seattle Public Schools under this agreement. All fee payments called for in this Agreement are contingent upon Seattle Public Schools receiving private donations to make such payments. Seattle Public Schools shall have no obligation to make any payments to Teach for America for fees except to the extent of private funds received specifically for such purpose. Any annual fees incurred may be paid through private funds.
And here is verification of that by Noel Treat, attorney for the Seattle Public School district, in an e-mail:
First, the TFA contract includes explicit language that conditions any payment obligation upon the District receiving private funds to make the payments. The agreement states that:
“All fee payments called for in this Agreement are contingent upon Seattle Public Schools receiving private donations to make such payments. Seattle Public Schools shall have no obligation to make any payments to Teach for America for fees except to the extent of private funds received specifically for such purpose.”
This language is sufficiently clear to ensure that, unless private funding is received, there is no obligation to pay.
The Seattle Foundation paid the required stipend for TFA, Inc. recruits last year but has stated that they will not be forking over the $4,000 per recruit this year.
The payment is due in October. Let’s make sure that TFA, Inc. sticks to the agreement. There is no reason that we should be paying for people with five weeks of training to be teaching our students, let alone paying extra for the “honor”.
Post Script: There is also no reason, if TFA snakes their way into any district, that a school district should pay a “finder’s fee” for recruits, particularly when there are so many qualified teachers available to staff our schools and also because Wendy Kopp is racking in the dough. Kopp received $50M last year from Arne Duncan and at least another $100M from private donors.
For additional information regarding Teach for America, Inc., I would suggest: