Responding to pressures from the local teachers union, Richmond City Council members on Tuesday voted to send a letter to West Contra Costa School District Superintendent Bruce Harter urging talks between the district and the union about Teach For America teachers in local classrooms.
A divide has opened between the union’s traditional teachers and those from the TFA program, a nonprofit organization that enlists high-achieving recent college graduates to teach for two or more years in low-income communities.
“We feel TFA is undermining our profession,” said Diane Brown, president of United Teachers of Richmond. “We see TFA as a vehicle for union busting … the district is hiring uncertified teachers to reduce costs.”
From Reports on Implementation of Actions of the 2011 Representative Assembly, Presented to the 91st Representatives Assembly of the National Education Association, July 2-5, 2012, page 13:
“No evidence suggests that the TFA contracts are being used to reduce teacher costs, silence union voices, or as a vehicle to bust unions.”