The Walton Family Foundation in Bentonville, Arkansas, has announced grants totaling $1.8 million in support of K-12 education programs focused on recruiting new, more diverse teachers and preparing them to effectively meet the learning needs of tomorrow's students.
The grants will enable the Bank Street College of Education in New York City, Marian University in Indianapolis, and New York University to roll out new or expand existing teacher preparation programs. Applying models that share common characteristics, the newly created Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Residency Program at Bank Street, Klipsch Educators College at Marian, and the Steinhardt Teacher Residency Program at NYU will work to prepare teachers to serve students with diverse and varied learning needs, with a focus on students with special needs and English-language learners.
According to the foundation, future cohorts of the three programs will be twice as diverse, on average, as the current national teaching force. More than half the candidates enrolled in Bank Street's TESOL program, for instance, will identify as people of color, as will 25 percent of the teacher candidates enrolled at Klipsch and 45 percent of the teacher candidates enrolled in NYU's Steinhardt Residency program.
In all, the commitment from the foundation will support the training of more than two hundred and thirty new teachers. Since 2015, the foundation has supported efforts to recruit and train more than fifty-three hundred teachers nationwide.
"Our teachers deserve training that prepares them to make an impact from day one," said Walton Family Foundation K-12 education director Marc Sternberg. "Because these programs will recruit diverse educators and provide hands-on training that we know works, our students, schools, and communities will benefit."