The Renton School Board approved an agreement Wednesday night that would let the district hire teachers through the Teach for America program, which places recent college graduates into classrooms in low-income communities for a two-year stint.
The board voted 5-0 to approve the memorandum of understanding agreement with Teach for America. The agreement is also attached as a pdf to this story. on the board's earlier study session.
KUOW had a conversation with Renton Schools spokesman Randy Matheson ahead of Wednesday’s vote, in which Matheson explained that “the district wants to open the hiring process to uncertified TFA applicants because the district has trouble finding enough qualified candidates.”
Phyllis Silling, president of the Renton Education Association teachers union, told KUOW that there are plenty of highly qualified, fully certified teachers in the region who need jobs.
The KUOW story also said the district had already hired a TFA teacher before Wednesday night's vote.
Teach for America is in the Seattle and Federal Way schools. The Seattle Times looked at the rocky first year of Teach for America’s presence in the Seattle School District, which included the filling of a lawsuit by opponents.
We know Teach for America has its supporters and detractors. What do you think? Should Renton Schools utilize the TFA program to fill teaching positions? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments.