Greater Waco-area draws $2.2 million grant from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

From KXXV, December 3, 2020, by Garrett Hottle

Greater Waco will be utilizing a $2.2 million grant over three years from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to improve the teacher workforce and the pipeline of qualified teachers in McLennan County.

An Opportunity Culture® grant will fund a creative staffing model with a focus on supporting sustainable and affordable residencies for candidates at both the La Vega and Waco ISD school districts.

“The staffing model with Opportunity Culture® will help build out our pipeline, because the identification of the master classroom leaders will be based on evidence and data,” said Dr. Hernandez-Gutierrez. “So you’re going to have your highest performing teacher in the system, training and supporting our new pipeline of teachers.”

Dr. Hernandez-Gutierrez says the Opportunity Culture® model is something the district hasn’t used before.

“We have master teachers in our system, and we already work with a couple universities on developing new teachers, but this is really a different model because it targets the development of all our teachers,” she said. “It’s not only building our pipeline, but it’s also a career pathway that gives excellent teachers an opportunity to leadership roles on the campus.”

Public Impact®, an education policy and consulting firm based in Chapel Hill, NC, will assist La Vega and Waco school districts in implementing the Opportunity Culture® Program. The grant will also fund a coordinator position for each district.

“The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has already provided the funding for our opportunity culture director,” Dr. Hernandez-Gutierrez said. “So that money is going through Prosper Waco, and we just offered a offered the job to a director, and that person is going to start next week.” Read the full article…

Keep Learning