Teach Plus Letter To Appropriators In Support Of Race To The Top-Equity And Opportunity Initiative

Teach Plus Letter To Appropriators In Support Of Race To The Top-Equity And Opportunity Initiative

Senator Barbara Mikulski                                            Senator Richard Shelby
Chairwoman                                                               Vice Chairman
U.S. Senate                                                                  U.S. Senate
Committee on Appropriations                                     Committee on Appropriations          
Washington, DC 20510                                                Washington, DC 20510

Congressman Harold Rogers                                    Congresswoman Nita Lowey
Chairman                                                                 Ranking Member
U.S. House of Representatives                                  U.S. House of Representatives
Committee on Appropriations                                  Committee on Appropriations
Washington, DC 20515                                             Washington, DC 20515

Dear Members of Congress:

We are writing to express strong support for the recommended $300 million for the Race to the Top-Equity and Opportunity initiative in the Administration’s budget request for fiscal year 2015. 

One of our greatest injustices as a nation is that poor and minority students are less likely to get effective teachers than their peers.  According to Mathematica’s 2013 report, Access to Effective Teaching for Disadvantaged Students, poor and minority students in 29 districts had less access to effective teaching in grades 4 through 8.  The report also found that providing equal access to effective teaching for Free and Reduced Lunch (FRL) and non-FRL students would narrow the student achievement gap. 

RTT-Opportunity grantees would aggressively target opportunity and achievement gaps through investments in strong teaching and school leadership.  This would include taking steps to improve recruitment and retention of effective teachers and leaders in high-poverty schools.  It could also be used to help schools better use data to measure and address disparities in opportunity and performance, increase access to rigorous coursework, extend learning time, bolster school culture, provide social and emotional supports, expand college and career counseling and take other evidence-based strategies to help mitigate the effects of concentrated poverty.

We urge you to fund this important initiative that could be life-changing for millions of students.  Thank you for your consideration.


Celine Coggins                                                             Tim Daly
Teach Plus                                                                     TNTP                                                                          


Katherine Bassett                                                          Jean Desravines
NNSTOY                                                                        New Leaders


Dan Cruce                                                                      Charles Barone
Hope Street Group                                                          Democratsfor Education Reform


Elisa Villanueva Beard
Teach For America