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Teach for America makes a push in Buffalo

Teach for America, a national program aimed at providing strong teachers to low-income school districts, hopes to partner with Buffalo City Schools to provide 25-30 teachers in classrooms with the highest needs next school year.

The teachers, who would agree to a two-year commitment under the Teach for America program, would offer the district more teacher diversity, greater focus on low-income student learning, and academic background in hard-to-staff subject areas, said Katie Campos, managing director of Community Engagement for Teach for America.

Campos, who spoke with the school board at a committee meeting Wednesday, said M&T Bank would cover the $5,000 fee for each Teach for America teacher the first year of the two-year commitment. That fee is on top of the regular salary the teachers would receive under the Buffalo Teachers Federation contract. All Teach for America teachers would be BTF members.

Teach for America attempted to partner with the Buffalo school district last year but was unsuccessful because of the short timeframe for recruiting teachers, Campos said. Some concerns, including concerns about teacher retention, were also raised by the BTF.

Campos said 5,900 college graduates joined Teach for America in 2013, and of that number 142 wanted to teach in Buffalo but went elsewhere because no partnership with Buffalo yet existed. She also said the majority of college graduates recruited for Teach for America stay in education after their two-year commitment is up.

Below is the presentation given to the board Wednesday during the Student Achievement Committee meeting.

-- Sandra Tan 

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About School Zone

Denise Jewell Gee

Denise Jewell Gee

Denise Jewell Gee joined The Buffalo News in 2007 and currently covers education and suburban schools. She also writes a column for the City & Region section and previously covered government in Erie County and Niagara Falls. Gee graduated from Boston University with degrees in journalism and political science.

@denisejewellgee | djgee@buffnews.com


Tiffany Lankes

Tiffany Lankes

Tiffany Lankes joined The Buffalo News in 2013 and primarily covers the Buffalo Public Schools. She has written about education since 2003 at newspapers in Florida and New York. In 2008, she was a nominated finalist for The Pulitzer Prize. Lankes is an Amherst native and graduate of Sacred Heart Academy and Syracuse University. She started her journalism career writing for the News’ NeXt section.

@TiffanyLankes | tlankes@buffnews.com


Sandra Tan

Sandra Tan

Sandra Tan has been a cityside reporter for The Buffalo News since 2000 and currently covers the Buffalo Public Schools beat. She previously covered the Williamsville school district and was a full-time education reporter for five years prior to joining The News. She graduated from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

@BNschoolzone | stan@buffnews.com


Deidre Williams

Deidre Williams

Deidre Williams began working for The Buffalo News in 1999 and currently covers Buffalo Public Schools. She formerly was a suburban reporter on the Northtowns beat and has been a cityside reporter covering communities since 2004. Williams has a mass communications degree from Towson University.

@DeidreWilliamsB | dswilliams@buffnews.com

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