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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Teach for America teachers receive 10,700 to pay for student loans, education majors get JACK

Say you are the run of the mill teacher. You wanted to be one since you were a small child. You went to college and graduated with your education degree and then secured a job in the district. Well good luck with your student loans.

On the other hand say you are a non-education type recent grad looking at your prospects which aren’t all that great, hey why not give Teach for America a try, and get 10,700 dollars over two years to pay for your student loans.

What the f%%#$. Are you F&^$%ing kidding me???????

This  also bumps what we are paying TFA teachers to 42,650 or basically what a 13th year teacher makes.

What the f%%#$. Are you F&^$%ing kidding me???????

But wait it is even worse because the district pays a 2,500 finder’s fee to bring them in, which now means the district invests  43,800 in them or more than they do a 14th year teacher (43,540)  

What the f%%#$. Are you F&^$%ing kidding me???????

All of this for teachers that stay on average for just two years.



  1. This is unbelievable- if a regular teacher teaches in low-income areas, they MAY be eligible for federal loan forgiveness after 5 years. But these TFAers, 2 years and their loans are covered! Disgusting!!

  2. I did TFA, and I'm no fan - I have a LOT of criticisms of the approach, the impact etc- I think its a lot of BS. And to clarify, I wanted to be a teacher before I joined, and so I am still a teacher (and was a bit shocked by the number of corps members I met who were already planning their law school applications before even spending a single day in the classroom). But one thing about this seeming attractive Americorps award discussed here (and yes, it is off-putting that something that many people consider a "job" is considered "service" by TFA) is that TFA actually put me in the hole. This isn't true for all regions, but in Hawaii it is required that you attend graduate school as a TFA CM. The graduate school choices were limited to one brick-and-mortar school or U of Phoenix (wha?). The brick-and-mortar school cost $12-$16K. So even with the award, we were still left with a debt. Also, they made us jump through horrible, horrible hoops to get that award - it was like extortion. I hated it. One of the many bitter TFA pills I had to swallow...

  3. I have started a petition on the site to ask the president to choose public school educators to fill important cabinet and advisory positions. Right now, his nominee for Undersecretary of Education (second in command) is the CEO of a rather aggressive charter school organization. PLEASE SIGN! It must have 100,000 signatures by March 29th to stay up and be considered for a response. After you sign, please share!

    Thank you,
    NC School Teacher

  4. This situation is absurd. It is odd that we have, supposedly, smart people (the TFA corps members themselves) fooled into believing this is actually good for children. They arrive with an idealistic shine in their eyes; the smart ones quickly lose the shine and reach out to teachers with actual experience and pedagogy, and the naive ones eventually also lose the shine, yet they still plug away thinking that they will change the world in 2 years or less. In no other profession would the idea of using novices in the most difficult situations be acceptable; however, those with clout ($) proceed to demonize professional teachers. If Vitti is so focused on using TFA, why not recruit TFA from Jacksonville and the surrounding areas and also require a 5 year commitment? I honestly think 1/2 of teachers quit before year 5 because it takes 5 or more years to become a confident, pedagogically-driven, knowledgeable, competent, comfortable, classroom manager of students. By year 3 or 4, I definitely felt way more apt than years 1 or 2. Those first 2 years were about getting through the day with sanity.

    To spend this massive amount of money with little return is useless to the students and disheartening to teachers who want to invest in the Jacksonville community. Beyond that, guess who will continually get the "privilege" to mentor all of these new TFA teachers (a requirement for all new teachers is to have a mentor)? Oh, that's right, an experienced teacher gets to mentor all of these new TFAers, observing them in the classroom, doing pre-observations, committing time to do post-observations, etc., and does not get paid for it. It will seriously get to the point where so few mentors will exist because you have to have 3 years of successful teaching to be a mentor teacher! What is my motivation to mentor when these teachers are taking jobs from other professional teachers? Just this afternoon, I was talking to a TFA corps member when he made the assertion that there are just so many openings and no one wants those jobs that TFA is filling. Well, that is simply not true. I know for a fact that we have to place these TFAers because of the contract and that many people apply for the openings in the Title One schools. Unfortunately, we have to move out the already hired teacher for a TFA corps member. Imagine replacing a doctor with a 5-week experienced intern. ..

    With an M.A. and 8 years in DCPS, my starting salary is around $40,000, only $3000 or so higher than these first year TFA teachers. I had to pay off my graduate student loans, as nobody reimbursed me for those courses. I am committed to Jacksonville and its people, as are many of the teachers working full-time for years in Duval county with no extra bonuses in sight. How about investing in us for a change?

  5. Please send above to the Times Union as a letter to the editor!