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November 10, 2015

Walton Foundation Grants $50 Million to Teach for America

The Walton family is giving $50 million to the teacher-training nonprofit to sustain its work in Southern California and expand nationwide, the Los Angeles Times reports. The funds will support 4,000 instructors over the next three years, 20 percent of whom will work in the foundation's home state of Arkansas and the Mississippi Delta region.

The Walton philanthropy, led by heirs to the Walmart fortune, is a major backer of charter schools and other efforts to overhual education and has long supported Teach for America, which recruits new college graduates to teach for two years in low-income areas. Both organizations are potential players in a $490 million plan spearheaded by Los Angeles philanthropist Eli Broad to place half of the city's students in charters over the next years.

The new Walton grant, announced last week, would do little to assist that effort, earmarking about $1 million a year for three years to maintain Teach for America's Los Angeles corps at its current level of about 180 instructors. The proposed charter expansion would require an additional 5,000 teachers from the nonprofitand other sources.