Will the Louisiana Legislature Fund Teach for America's $5 million NGO Request?

I was absolutely amazed (NOT) to see that Teach for America (Louisiana) was continuing their annual request for funding as a Non-Governmental Organization through the Legislature to the tune of $5,000,000.00.

 I admit I don't understand why they do this because it seems to be an exercise in futility, but something tells me there is something to it and that they benefit in some way.  I know I buy a Lottery ticket occasionally, knowing that my chances of winning are basically zero-none, so maybe they have their fingers crossed (and a special friend in the legislature) in hopes that their ship will also come in and dock alongside mine!

There is a lot of information out there about Teach for America and the multi-millions$$ that they take in every year for their highly paid staff.  What we don't know is exactly how the millions are spent that our Lousiana Department of Education and the willing philantrophy of BESE award them every year. 

My latest attempt to curb the funding of TFA came at the May 15 BESE meeting. Here are my notes:


Today BESE voted on two Teach For America contracts.  One for over $mil for 520 recruits and another for the RSD that amends a previous RSD TFA contract for over $mil by adding another $250,000.  Lots of discussion prompted by testimony. 

John White said: "The legislature has earmarked money for TFA."  Implying that it doesn't come from the established LDOE budget or MFP money. (This statement an be found in the videotape archives.) 

In my testimony, I read this email from Michael Tipton, TFA Director (see below) that I got in 2010 which indicates to me that LDOE does directly fund TFA.  Was John White incorrect about the funds for TFA?

 From: lpbharley@aol.com
> >>> Sent: Monday, June 28, 2010 4:03 PM
> >>> To: Tipton, Michael
> >>> Subject: Louisiana NGO Request

Mr. Tipton:

I would appreciate information from you regarding your NGO requests from
the State of Louisiana for the years 2009 and 2010.

I have access to your grant requests for both years but I would like to
know if your requests were funded.


Sincerely,

Lee P. Barrios, M.Ed., NBCT


 From: "Tipton, Michael" <michael.tipton@teachforamerica.org>
> >>> Date: July 1, 2010 at 11:07:18 AM CDT
> >>> To: "lpbharley@aol.com"
> >>> Subject: RE: Louisiana NGO Request

 Thank you for your e-mail.

The NGO request system is a bit misleading – Teach For America didn’t
directly request funding through the legislature but rather the Department of
Education and other departments have made requests to fund Teach For America as
part of their strategic priorities and work in a number of high needs areas of
the state. In both the 2009 and 2010 years we did receive funding through this
process but not the amount originally requested. In both years Teach For America
was allocated $968,468 on a contract basis through the Department of Education.
The contracts, performance standards and outcomes should be available through
the Department if you’d like these as well.

 If you have any other questions please just let me know.

Michael


As Michael pointed out, "The NGO request system is a bit misleading."  Couldn't have said it better myself. 

You have to be an old English teacher like me, used to reading student writing with "creative" punctuation, to understand his next response.  He says,". . . the Department of Education and other departments (?) have made requests to fund Teach for America as part of their strategic priorities and work in a number of high needs areas of the state."

He is clearly stating that the Department of Education has made it their strategic priority to hire TFA grads and that LDOE has made the request to TFA rather than vice versa.  They certainly don't make hiring certified education grads from Louisiana or anywhere else a priority.  I don't know what other departments would have made a request to fund TFA, but it would be interesting to find out.

Back to John White's public response at the BESE meeting that "The legislature has earmarked money for TFA." 

It seems I regularly have reason to accuse John White of "misrepresentation" and this seemed to fit that description, so I contacted a member of the House Appropriations Committee to see what I could find out. This is the response that I got:

 "The funds are in the DOE budget and are itemized in supporting documents. So my understanding is they are earmarked for TFA but are within the DOE budget. They are not a line item in HB1."

As much as I love writing about TFA, there are other writers whose research capabilities are far greater than mine.  Here are a couple of posts by Dr. Mercedes Schneider:

http://deutsch29.wordpress.com/2013/08/07/kira-orange-jones-tfa-promotion-and-ldoe-tfa-contracts/

http://deutsch29.wordpress.com/2013/03/27/former-tfaers-gone-ldoe-leaders-incompetence-at-a-premium/?relatedposts_hit=1&relatedposts_origin=696&relatedposts_position=1

And this one refers you to another TFA fan who was once a Teach for America recruit, Gary Rubenstein, but is now a teacher.  Mercedes and I had the good fortune of having dinner with him recently when he was in New Orleans. Gary doesn't blog as much as he used to about Teacher for America, but you can find everything you never wanted to know about TFA from his earlier blogs:

http://deutsch29.wordpress.com/2013/10/30/want-a-trustworthy-word-on-teach-for-america-tfa-listen-to-former-tfaer-gary-rubinstein/?relatedposts_hit=1&relatedposts_origin=397&relatedposts_position=2 

Well I could go on and on about TFA and its many "indiscretions" but it's not difficult to find plenty on your own with a Google search.  My purpose here was simply to point out many of your TAX DOLLARS are going to fund non-certified, inexperienced TFA instructors while certified teachers and new college grads are being bumped. I also have a problem with the highly questionable ethics of allowing Kira Orange-Jones to sit on BESE while working for TFA.  I'm sure Governor Jindal made that happen.  






NGO Funding Request for 2014 Regular Session


The recipient entity's full legal name: Teach For America, Inc.

The recipient entity's physical address:
501 Government Street, Suite 100
Baton Rouge, LA 70802


The recipient entity's mailing address (if different):
P.O. Box 65148
Baton Rouge, LA 70896


Type of Entity (for instance, a nonprofit corporation): Non-Profit Corporation

If the entity is a corporation, list the names of the incorporators:
Thomas H. Castro
El Dorado Capital, LLC

Maxine Clark
Build-A-Bear Workshop®

Patricia J. Crawford
Wells Fargo

Millard Drexler
J. Crew Group

Paul Finnegan
Madison Dearborn Partners

Lew Frankfort
Coach, Inc.

David Gergen
Harvard University

Randall H. Harbert
State Farm Insurance Companies

Leo J. Hindery, Jr.
InterMedia Partners

Walter Isaacson (Chairman Emeritus)
The Aspen Institute

David W. Kenny
The Weather Channel Companies

Joel Klein
News Corporation

Wendy Kopp (Chair)
Teach For All

Matthew Kramer
Teach For America

John Legend
Recording Artist and Philanthropist

Sue Lehmann
Management Consultant

Michael L. Lomax
United Negro College Fund

Stephen F. Mandel, Jr. (Treasurer)
Lone Pine Capital, LLC

James M. McCormick
First Manhattan Consulting Group

Darla Moore
Rainwater, Inc.

Richard D. Parsons (Lead Director)
Providence Equity Partners, Inc.

Richard S. Pechter
Retired Chairman, DLJ Financial Services

Greg Penner
Madrone Capital Partners

Nancy Peretsman
Allen & Company, LLC

Arthur Rock
Arthur Rock & Co.

Vince Roig
Helios Education Foundation

Paula A. Sneed (Chair, National Council)
Kraft Foods, Inc.

Sir Howard Stringer
Sony Corporation

Kurt Strovink
McKinsey & Company

Lawrence H. Summers
Harvard University

Beverly Daniel Tatum
Spelman College

Sara Martinez Tucker
Former President & CEO of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund

Gregory W. Wendt
Capital Research Company

Margaret “Meg” Whitman
Hewlett-Packard Company

Elisa Villanueva-Beard
Teach For America

José H. Villarreal
Akin Gump

Jide Zeitlin
The Keffi Group Ltd.


The last four digits of the entity's taxpayer ID number: 1913

What is the dollar amount of the request? $5,000,000

What type of request is this? General Appropriation

Is this entity in good standing with the Secretary of State? Yes

Provide the name of each member of the recipient entity's governing board and officers:
Thomas H. Castro
Founder and CEO
El Dorado Capital, LLC

Maxine Clark
Founder, Chief Executive Bear & Chairman
Build-A-Bear Workshop®

Patricia J. Crawford
Retired - Senior Vice President
Enterprise Diversity & Inclusion
Wells Fargo

Millard Drexler
Chairman and CEO
J. Crew Group

Paul Finnegan
Co-CEO
Madison Dearborn Partners

Lew Frankfort
Chairman & CEO
Coach, Inc.

David Gergen
Professor of Public Service
Director of the Center for Public Leadership
Harvard University

Randall H. Harbert
Senior Vice President
State Farm Insurance Companies

Leo J. Hindery, Jr.
Managing Partner
InterMedia Partners

Walter Isaacson (Chairman Emeritus)
President & CEO
The Aspen Institute

David W. Kenny
Chairman and CEO
The Weather Channel Companies

Joel Klein
CEO, Education Division
Executive Vice President, Office of the Chairman
News Corporation

Wendy Kopp (Chair)
CEO & Co-Founder
Teach For All

Matthew Kramer
Co-CEO
Teach For America

John Legend
Recording Artist and Philanthropist

Sue Lehmann
Management Consultant

Michael L. Lomax
President & CEO
United Negro College Fund

Stephen F. Mandel, Jr. (Treasurer)
Managing Director
Lone Pine Capital, LLC

James M. McCormick
Founder, CEO & President
First Manhattan Consulting Group

Darla Moore
Vice President
Rainwater, Inc.

Richard D. Parsons (Lead Director)
Senior Advisor
Providence Equity Partners, Inc.

Richard S. Pechter
Alumnus, Teach For America
Retired Chairman, DLJ Financial Services

Greg Penner
General Partner
Madrone Capital Partners

Nancy Peretsman
Managing Director
Allen & Company, LLC

Arthur Rock
Principal
Arthur Rock & Co.

Vince Roig
Chairman
Helios Education Foundation

Paula A. Sneed (Chair, National Council)
Retired Executive Vice President
Kraft Foods, Inc.

Sir Howard Stringer
Chairman
Sony Corporation

Kurt Strovink
Director
McKinsey & Company

Lawrence H. Summers
President Emeritus
Charles W. Eliot University Professor
Harvard University

Beverly Daniel Tatum
President
Spelman College

Sara Martinez Tucker
Former Under Secretary of Education (2006)
Former President & CEO of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund

Gregory W. Wendt
Senior Vice President
Capital Research Company

Margaret “Meg” Whitman
President & Chief Executive Officer
Hewlett-Packard Company

Elisa Villanueva-Beard
Co-CEO
Teach For America

José H. Villarreal
Senior Advisor
Akin Gump

Jide Zeitlin
The Keffi Group Ltd.

Current Louisiana Executive Directors:

Michael Tipton, Executive Director Teach For America - South Louisiana

Kira Orange-Jones, Executive Director Teach For America - Greater New Orleans & Louisiana Delta

Board Members and co-CEOs can be contacted at:

Teach For America, Inc.
315 W. 36th Street, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10018

Louisiana Executive Directors can be contacted at:

Teach For America - South Louisiana
P.O. Box 65148
Baton Rouge, LA 70896


Provide a summary of the project or program:
Teach For America currently provides more than 500 teachers (corps members) and more than 1,000 alumni who serve as teachers, leaders and positive change agents in the lowest income schools throughout the Greater New Orleans and Greater Baton Rouge areas, Central Louisiana, Acadiana and the Louisiana Delta.

Teach For America’s sustainable and historical size of operation is 200 teachers and 100 alumni but after Hurricane Katrina and with the incredible opportunities for educational change in Louisiana, Teach For America was asked by the state and private philanthropists to grow larger to provide the necessary human capital pipeline for schools and districts. Using millions in national philanthropic dollars Teach For America grew from 200 teachers and 100 alumni to our current scale. Given the state’s ongoing focus on providing a great education to all students, we are fulfilling a critical part of this mission and see continuing to serve more of the highest needs areas of the state as our top priority. One recent example of our effort here is that Teach For America has opened an initial corps in the Louisiana Delta. These corps members currently teach in Concordia, Tensas and Madison parishes.

With evidence that Teach For America teachers are highly effective despite working in the most challenging schools and the evidence that Teach For America alumni are staying in Louisiana (currently more than 1,000 call Louisiana home) and are becoming Principals and other education leaders Teach For America is helping to create system wide improvement for students in the areas we service. As a result we and the LDOE see continued investment to enable this work as critical. Both our ongoing operations and our service in the Louisiana Delta are entirely contingent upon our ability to find and generate the needed funds. Given the positive results and the need to continue this effort and our service in existing and new areas of the state the Louisiana Department of Education may request up to $5,000,000 for Teach For America.

This $5,000,000 is far less than giving levels of our neighboring state of Mississippi but is in line with the needed funds to continue operating in Louisiana. Teach For America is currently leveraging state funds more than 10 to 1 by raising more than $11,000,000 in private funds for our operations in Louisiana. An increase in state funding allows us to continue this work and allows us to attract even more private donations in the years to come.

Teach For America is currently a top 10 place to start a career according to Business Week and with nearly 60,000 applicants last year, including 15%+ of all Ivy League Seniors, 7% of Tulane Seniors and 2% of Seniors at LSU, our corps members, with an average ACT score of a 30 and 100% holding senior leadership roles, represent a unique pipeline of talent that might not have entered education without our recruitment. The pipeline is also incredibly diverse with some 30% being people of color and 40% being from low-income backgrounds. We know that our corps members have great promise to achieve with their students and schools and see this every day. The net benefit of the improvement in education provided yearly to our corps members adds more than $70M in positive returns for the state, not even beginning to count the added other impact. Teach For America is now the largest importer of top flight human capital into the state and is focusing this talent on our #1 issues – improving education. We ask for your support and consideration of the funding to make this possible.


What is the budget relative to the project for which funding is requested?:
Salaries. . . . . . . . . . . . .$0
Professional Services. . .$5,000,000
Contracts . . . . . . . . . . .$0
Acquisitions . . . . . . . . .$0
Major Repairs . . . . . . .$0
Operating Services. . . .$0
Other Charges. . . . . . .$0

Does your organization have any outstanding audit issues or findings? No

If 'Yes' is your organization working with the appropriate governmental agencies to resolve those issues or findings?


What is the entity's public purpose, sought to be achieved through the use of state monies?
Teach For America recruits, selects, trains and supports teachers and leaders for the lowest income schools and school districts in the state of Louisiana and around the country. Teach For America is tapping a previously untapped base of talent and attracting America’s top recent graduates to teach in schools that need their support the most. We are ensuring that these teachers achieve excellent results immediately and are working to channel their energies towards long term impact within education and within the state of Louisiana. Currently our 500+ corps members work with more than 45,000 students in the state of Louisiana. Our 1,000+ alumni run schools, continue teaching in classrooms, are setting policy and otherwise influencing the debate for educational change in a positive direction.

As such, Teach For America’s public purpose is to improve the quality of education for students immediately and the quality of education for all students in the long run by providing the talented leaders who can bring our students, our schools and our state into the future. In doing so Teach For America corps members and alumni tackle challenges like the drop out rate, low literacy rates and societal effects of poverty while also providing opportunities for economic development, visibility and innovation – all of which are state priorities.


What are the goals and objectives for achieving such purpose?
For the 2013 – 2014 school year Teach For America will recruit, select, train and support a corps of between 500 and 700 teachers within the state of Louisiana, up from our normal state of 200 just a few years ago. With appropriate funding we will be able to grow this number to beyond 700 with a specific focus on the Baton Rouge, Shreveport and continued impact throughout the New Orleans area.

During the 2013-2014 school year Teach For America will continue recruiting and retaining talented Teach For America alumni as school leaders, teachers and other influencers within the state. Growing this number above 1,000 statewide.

Teach For America will maintain and expand up the current quality of our teachers and alumni by providing additional training, resources, connections and opportunities for development.

Teach For America will also, as previously, share best practices, resources and information with schools, school districts and the state to help improve all practices and supports for teachers and leaders throughout the state.


What is the proposed length of time estimated by the entity to accomplish the purpose?
One School Year

If any elected or appointed state official or an immediate family member of such an official is an officer, director, trustee, or employee of the recipient entity who receives compensation or holds any ownership interest therein:
(a) If an elected or appointed state official, the name and address of the official and the office held by such person:
Kira Orange-Jones
Executive Director
Teach For America - Greater New Orleans

P.O. Box 65148
Baton Rouge, LA 70896

Kira is an elected member of BESE and has cleared her continued role with Teach For America through the Louisiana Board of Ethics.


(b) If an immediate family member of an elected or appointed state official, the name and address of such person; the name, address, and office of the official to whom the person is related; and the nature of the relationship:


(c) The percentage of the official's or immediate family member's ownership interest in the recipient entity, if any:


(d) The position, if any, held by the official or immediate family member in the recipient entity:


If the recipient entity has a contract with any elected or appointed state official or an immediate family member of such an official or with the state or any political subdivision of the state:
(a) If the contract is with an elected or appointed state official, provide the name and address of the official and the office held by such person:


(b) If the contract is with an immediate family member of an elected or appointed state official:
Provide the name and address of such person:


Provide the name, address, and office of the official to whom the person is related:


What is the nature of the relationship?

(c) If the contract is with the state or a political subdivision of the state, provide the name and address of the state entity or political subdivision of the state:
Teach For America receives funding by contract through the Louisiana state Budget from the Louisiana Department of Education. The LDOE via State Superintendent of Education John White is the primary requester but in previous years our grant has been managed through the Division of Teacher Recruitment and Certification under the leadership of Barbara Burke.

Barbara Burke
Division of Teacher Recruitment and Certification
Louisiana State Department of Education
PO Box 94064
Baton Rouge, LA 70804


(d) The nature of the contract, including a description of the goods or services provided or to be provided pursuant to the contract:
Teach For America supplies and supports some current 500+ teachers in Louisiana. For the coming year Teach For America proposes to recruit, select, training and support some 550+ - 700 corps members and 1,000+ alumni to continue and expand operations state-wide.


Contact Information
name: Michael Tipton
address: P.O. Box 65148
Baton Rouge, LA 70896

phone: 2253818163x16101
fax: 2253818234
e-mail: michael.tipton@teachforamerica.org
relationship to entity: Executive Director, Teach For America - South Louisiana


        

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