The Gates Foundation Awards Grant To Improve Student-Teacher Workforce in Greater Waco-area

One of the most important aspects of education is ensuring that all students have proper access to qualified teachers regardless of location. This means ensuring a highly qualified workforce of teachers that are willing to work in varying areas and stay for the long-term. The Gates Family Foundation has awarded a $2.2 million grant to Greater Waco to “improve the teacher workforce and the pipeline of qualified teachers in McLennan County.”

Bill And Melinda Gates have been philanthropists for over 20 years, providing funding both directly and indirectly through grant awards to improve conditions all over the world including in various parts of the United States.

Here’s what a Gates Family Foundation spokesperson had to say about this critical grant award:

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation learned about Waco’s interest in improving the quality of teacher preparation through one of our existing grantee partners, Texas Tech University. Over the last couple of months, we have had the opportunity to engage with amazing leaders at Waco school districts, teacher preparation programs, and community organizations. These leaders are blazing a new trail that will result in well-prepared teachers for Waco schools, and Waco will serve as an example for other regions across Texas”.

The three-year grant, to Prosper Waco, would focus on new teachers coming from fields other than education, and specifically their first year in the classroom. This would ensure that not only are these teachers prepared to teach students but also that they have access to resources and mentorship that could help the overall education experience. And it will allow for a more diverse, more connected, more community-oriented workforce.

We feel very fortunate to have both sides of this question (teaching training and support) addressed in their grant,” Prosper Waco CEO Suzii Paynter March said.

Here’s what the Gates Family Foundation funding will go towards:

  • Opportunity Culture grant for Waco and La Vega ISDs to develop ways to use experienced teachers in encouraging and training beginning teachers, trading off a portion of their classroom time for time spent mentoring newcomers to classroom instruction.
  • The formation of a Greater Waco Teacher Community of Practice, a wide-ranging forum of local educators, business people, and other leaders, whose intent is widening the pipeline of teachers through recruitment and training.

GrantWatch cares about education and ensuring a future where all students have access to quality education, that’s why we’re so proud to list Education grants on our website.

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