Without Recruits, Even Lobbying Cannot Save Teach for America
In July 2016, the teacher temp agency, Teach for America (TFA) filed its latest tax form, technically for 2014, but actually spanning June 01, 2014 to May 31, 2015.
Here is TFA’s stated mission:
OUR MISSION IS TO ENLIST, DEVELOP, MOBILIZE AS MANY AS POSSIBLE OF OUR NATION’S MOST PROMISING FUTURE LEADERS TO GROW AND STRENGTHEN THE MOVEMENT FOR EDUCATIONAL EQUITY AND EXCELLENCE.
TFA’s total end-of-year assets for 2014-15 were $445 million, down from $494 million at the beginning of the tax year. In both 2014-15 and 2013-14, TFA’s expenses exceeded its revenue (by $26 million in 2013-14 and $75 million in 2014-15).
According to TFA’s 2014 tax form, it spent $1 million on “direct contact with legislators, their staffs, government officials, or a legislative body.” Of course, that million was spent in TFA’s lobbying for itself.
Here is the detailed description by TFA about exactly how that $1 million was spent:
ON A STATE LEVEL, LOCAL ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS, PAID STAFF OR MANAGEMENT HAD DIRECT CONTACT WITH STATE LEGISLATORS,THEIR STAFF AND MEMBERS OF STATE EXECUTIVE BRANCH AGENCIES IN SUPPORT OF STATE APPROPRIATIONS FOR TEACH FOR AMERICA’S IN-STATE OPERATIONS THROUGH REGULAR STATE BUDGET PROCESSES.IN ADDITION, REGIONAL STAFF ALSO WORKED FOR THE PASSAGE OF VARIOUS PIECES OF LEGISLATION WHICH WOULD IMPACT TEACH FOR AMERICA’S ABILITY TO OPERATE IN A GIVEN COMMUNITY INCLUDING THE PASSAGE OF ALTERNATIVE CERTIFICATION LEGISLATION AND LEGISLATION PERMITTING TEACH FOR AMERICA TO BE RECOGNIZED BY THE STATE AS AN ALTERNATIVE PATHWAY TO TEACH LICENSURE.TEACH FOR AMERICA HAS USED CONSULTANTS AT THE STATE LEVEL TO PROVIDE LOBBYING SERVICES, SUCH AS BILL AND REGULATION TRACKING ON MATTERS, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, TEACHER CERTIFICATION AND STATE FUNDING AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL.TEACH FOR AMERICA STAFF INTERFACED WITH MEMBERS OF CONGRESS, THEIR PERSONAL AND COMMITTEE STAFF, AND KEY MEMBERS OF THE PRESIDENT’S ADMINISTRATION AND FEDERAL AGENCIES, TO ADVOCATE FOR LEGISLATION AND REGULATIONS THAT WOULD SUPPORT TEACH FOR AMERICA AND THE CONSTITUENCIES WE SERVE.
As a 501c3, TFA can spend a max of $1 million on lobbying because its exempt-purpose expenditures exceed $17 million. However, TFA also has an associated lobbying nonprofit (a 501c4), Leadership for Educational Equity (LEE), to which it donated $9.5 million in 2014-15, for the general purpose of providing “charitable and educational programs to strengthen individual and collective leadership of TFA alumni.”
TFA wants its alumni to assume positions of political and education administrative Without Recruits, Even Lobbying Cannot Save Teach for America | deutsch29