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A man pushes carts outside of a Walmart store on March 29, 2011 in Valley Stream, New York.
Through its foundation, the family that founded Walmart announced today that it’s giving $49 million to an effort to increase the number of teachers in urban schools.
The Walton Family Foundation is making the three-year grant to Teach For America. For two decades, Teach For America has placed recent college graduates in urban public schools on two-year contracts.
Nearly 300 Teach for America teachers worked in L.A. classrooms during the school year that just ended, said the Walton Foundation’s Jim Blew. "TFA focuses on low-income urban communities as well as rural communities," said Blew. "In the longer term, the benefits translate into a leadership pipeline, for the education reform and parental choice movement."
The Walton Foundation is a big supporter of charter schools. Michelle Rhee, who led Washington D.C. schools through controversial reforms, is a Teach for America alumna.
Critics of that organization say two years isn’t long enough for a beginning teacher to learn the profession. It places about 9,000 teachers throughout the country every year, and it plans to double that number with help from the Walton grant.