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Teach for America is reducing its corps members in Memphis,
“The organization is projecting placements of 110 new recruits in Memphis-area schools during the 2015-16 school year, down from 185 last year….
“TFA’s presence has not been without controversy. While school administrators in Memphis have struggled to find and keep qualified math and science teachers to work in some of its lowest-performing middle and high schools, local hiring of young, mostly white TFA members coincided with layoffs of many older black teachers amid significant budget cuts.
“Local teachers’ union officials have maintained that TFA recruits aren’t qualified and equipped to teach students in low-income environments.
“The district is required to pay TFA a $5,000 annual fee per recruit, most of which comes from a $90 million grant awarded to the district in 2009 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. That money – designated for programs that improve teacher effectiveness in Memphis schools – soon will run out.”