$1.3M pledged to local teacher training program

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SAN DIEGO — Several of San Diego’s top philanthropists Monday pledged $1.275 million over three years to Teach For America San Diego, which recruits and trains teachers to work at low-income schools in the region.

The gifts were a renewal of the benefactors’ previous three years of support for the nonprofit.

“This support will help Teach For America San Diego continue to provide a pipeline of diverse, talented, and passionate teachers for our public schools with the greatest needs,” said Jack McGrory, chairman of the organization’s board. “By attracting innovative leaders to our classrooms, Teach For America will prepare more of our students for a lifetime of opportunity and reinforce that San Diego is America’s finest city.”

McGrory, whose daughter went through the Teach for America program, gave $450,000.

Other donations came from the Legler Benbough Foundation, $375,000; Malin Burnham, $150,000; Diane and Rod Dammeyer, $150,000; and Joan and Irwin Jacobs, $150,000.

The funding will pay for the recruitment, training, and professional development of up to 75 members in San Diego over three years.

The instructors will compete for open positions at public schools and commit to teaching for at least two years, many in hard-to-staff subject areas such as science, math, and special education, and become lifelong leaders in the effort to end educational inequity, according to Teach for America.

The organization said its San Diego affiliate has brought 80 people into education and established itself as a source of teachers who share identities with their students.

Of the more than 20 new teachers in classrooms this year, about 80 percent identify as people of color or come from low-income backgrounds, and 57 percent are first-generation college graduates.

The 25-year-old Teach for America has 42,000 alumni, with 8,600 currently teaching in 52 regions in the U.S.

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