Texas Pays TFA $5.5 Million A Year For 400 Recruits

The title of this post says it all.  I’ve learned that for the past 2 years Texas taxpayers have been subsidizing TFA about $6 million a year and that for the next two years, through 2021, they are scheduled to receive $5.5 million a year.

You can see the official document here.

And here is the relevant text on page 218:

Screen Shot 2019-05-11 at 10.10.15 PM.png

This is quite a sum of money.  TFA provides the state with a report that makes it seem like they are doing a lot with this money, but considering that they recruit about 400 corps members into Texas and only 85% of them even finish their two year commitment, this is a big waste of money.  This is about $15,000 per recruit, and that doesn’t include whatever finders fees the districts themselves pay.

Texas didn’t always pay TFA so much money for their services so what would happen if they just simply stopped?  The answer is that Texas would save $5.5 million dollars a year.  It is not like TFA is going to close up shop in Texas because they can’t afford it.  And the quality of the supposed services they provide would not go down either.  Their training and support is so minimal, it can’t really get much worse if they had to lower the quality of the things they claim to do with that money.

The scary thing is that this is likely the tip of the iceberg.  Who knows what similar agreements are written into the budgets of the other states that TFA places corps members into.

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7 Responses to Texas Pays TFA $5.5 Million A Year For 400 Recruits

  1. Let me point out that at an instate State school, that $15,000 could pay for a full year training program (including practice teaching) towards a full MAsters of Education program, and the candidates could actually learn how to teach kids well in a particular subject or grade level.
    Instead, TFA kids are given a five week rah-rah “consciousness-raising” rah rah program and have no idea what subject or whom (ie grade level of kids) they will be teaching until almost the last minute.

    It’s disgraceful, and a horrible thing to do to these poor kids.

    • David Holmes says:

      Better training sounds better. But how much does a person improve as a teacher from spending $20k on a master’s degree over 1.5 years, compared to TFA’s 5-week program? The opinions on those master’s degree programs among teachers I admire range from grumbling to despising to stuff that would get me banned from this polite forum.

      The program I know best spent zero (0) time on “classroom management” (jargon for “keeping the classroom orderly enough that anyone could possibly learn in it”). By contrast, if you search youtube.com for
      tfaworkshop
      you can see that TFA addressed this critical issue for at least one class for one cohort. (Watching that series is fun, funny, engrossing, and scary to would-be teachers, in a tiny sample.)

      “Master of Education” looks good on a diploma, maybe, but no one would confuse its holder with a master of education, including the holder.

      Gary can presumably weigh in here, since he has taught in both environments, with plaudits from some of the aforementioned “teachers I admire”, whom he taught. Or whatever that is in English.

  2. Pingback: Gary Rubenstein: Texas Pays TFA $5.5 Million a Year for 400 Recruits | Diane Ravitch's blog

  3. Laura H. Chapman says:

    Thank you for including the proposed rider language. TFA has plenty of billionaire supporters. They should not be any fee owed to them for hiring. If anything the full cost/benefit analysis for TFA by district, grade level, and subjects should be on the books in every state. Sunshine laws are being ignored.

  4. David Holmes says:

    I’m missing something here. $15k is peanuts to pay for a year’s classroom presence, even if the recruit is under-educated, inexperienced, or quits after a year. The Texas taxpayers must first answer a separate question about whether to replace experienced teachers with TFAers,as Gary has considered in past posts. But if taxpayers decide to take that gamble, they shouldn’t complain about this price, no? On the contrary, as a society we taxpayers should be paying much more for education (IMO), even if billionaires kick in some extra.

    • garyrubinstein says:

      That’s in addition to the salaries they pay the TFAers like other new teachers. This is just extra money for TFA that they say they need.

      • David Holmes says:

        Wait (as students are prone to saying). Are telling me that we can sell raw teachers to Texans at $15k a pop? If we come up with, say, 25 idealistic college grads whom we can bamboozle into moving to Texas, that’s… Ok, my math skillz are maybe coming up a little short here, but it’s a lot of money. Don’t let word of the opportunity get out until we cash in on this sucker! Drop your teaching gig pronto. With your rep and my business acumen, we’ll clean up!

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