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Lots of Democrats Want Truckloads of Taxpayer Dollars to Go to Teach For America

by Susan Ohanian

The 2009 Congressional Earmark award for Teach for America was $14,895,000. Look at who sponsored it here.

This year, Teach for America has a website, where people can ask their Congressional representative to support this year's $50 million earmark. This site lists all the current supporters of this Earmark, lots and lots of Democrats.

Whitney Tilson, vice chairman of KIPP Academy Charter Schools in NYC and a director of Democrats for Education Reform, whose favorite TV show is "Stupid in America," John Stossel, ABC 20/20 (Jan. 13, 2006), makes the same plea on his blog.

California teachers, just to name one group, might want to ask these members of Congress why they are so free with taxpayer dollars to support earmarks for Teach for America at the same time thousands of experienced, credentialed teachers are getting pink slips: Bob Filner, Zoe Lofgren, Doris Matsui, Laura Richardson, Maxine Waters.

Teachers across the country should go to the earmark site and send their members of Congress news of teacher layoffs.

This support for Teacher for America was brought to my attention by a news article listing Tennessee Congressman Steve Cohen F11 Appropriations Requests (Earmarks, which include:

Entity: Teach for America
Address: Teach for America, New York, NY 10018
Amount: $50,000,000
Project Title: Teach for America
Purpose: Teach for America, a national nonprofit with a demonstrated record of success, will use these funds to recruit, select, train, and provide professional development to top recent college graduates of all academic majors who commit two years to teach in our nationĂ¢€™s highest poverty co

Here are Cohen's education priorities, which fall in line with those of the Democratic Party and earn him an A rating from NEA.

For 2010, Cohen's Earmark requests include 42 projects total $125.7 million. His requests for Teach for America are by far the most generous. Stan Katz at Chronicle of Higher Education wonders how much lobbying for these earmarks costs Teach for America.

In February, the Washington Post's Nick Anderson reported on the Teach for America Earmark issue, Duncan questioned on move to cut funding for Teach for America. Duncan says Teach for America could get more from the competitive program he wants, but Teach for America seems to feel a bird in hand is the safer route. Hence Earmarks.

Of interest is how eager Democrats are to make sure Teach for America continues to get truckloads of money.

For those of you who thought Teach for America survived only by the grace of the vulture philanthropists like Bill Gates, USAspending shows Teach for America's track record for pulling in federal grants:

  • According to TFA's IRS Form 990s covering roughly FY2001 through 2007, the organization received $70,990,553 in government contributions, including $17.1 million in fiscal 2007, accounting for more than one-fifth of all of its contributed income

  • Our tax dollars at work.

    — Susan Ohanian





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