Open Funding Opportunity – Apply Today!
We know that a significant research base shows greater teacher diversity within a school yields higher expectations, lower discipline referral rates, and better academic results for all students, especially students of color. Yet less than one in five educators identify as people of color, while students of color compose more than 50 percent of the entire PK-12 student population.
Through the Teacher Diversity funding opportunity, NewSchools will support innovative approaches to advancing educator diversity, including recruiting diverse teachers and supporting teachers of color so they remain in the field longer. We will invest up to $2.5 million in innovators wit h bold ideas focused on recruiting, retaining and supporting Black, Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander and Indigenous teachers.
We want your best, most creative ideas to help us close the teacher diversity gap. We are accepting submissions through Friday, August 6 at 11:59pm PT.
We are grateful to The Walton Family Foundation for providing anchor support for this funding opportunity. This work complements existing and ongoing work at The Walton Family Foundation aimed at recruiting, supporting and retaining educators from diverse backgrounds because students, schools and communities are stronger when more teachers represent the students they serve.
Need more information? On June 30, we hosted a webinar to share more about what we’re looking for, walk through the application, and answer additional questions. Take a look at the webinar recording and presentation slides to learn more.
What We Offer
We accelerate your efforts by providing support in three key areas:
- Funding: A one-year grant of $150,000 to $250,000, depending on the stage of the organization or idea. After one year, ventures become eligible for additional support.
- Communities of practice: Opportunities to build relationships with and learn from other leaders focused on teacher diversity.
- Management assistance: Access to relevant, timely and customized support from our team and external experts.
Curious about what it’s like to be part of our portfolio? This video features reflections from our past ventures. You can also watch this webinar highlighting innovations from leaders in our portfolio, which aired July 14.
What We’re Looking For
We invest in innovators with bold ideas focused on recruiting, developing and supporting teachers of color. Our investment criteria outlined below, provides more details:
- IDEA: We seek bold ideas focused on increasing the diversity of the U.S. teaching force. You might be working to recruit Black, Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander and Indigenous teachers, or focused on retaining and supporting existing teachers of color. Ideally, you will have a differentiated approach from what already exists today.
- IMPACT: You will contribute to closing the diversity gap between teachers and public school students within your community or state, or nationally. Eventually, your efforts will achieve broader impact and help create a future with far more diverse, effective teachers in classrooms who are inspired and supported to remain in the profession for many years. Your efforts will lead to improved student outcomes, especially for those from underserved communities.
- TEAM: We seek mission-driven, diverse innovators who demonstrate passion, personal integrity and the ability to execute and get results. We expect our entrepreneurs to build high-performing teams to ensure they are surrounded by individuals with the range of skills and backgrounds necessary to deliver on their vision. Leaders should be open to working closely with us and being an active member of a community of practice with fellow portfolio members.
- DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION: Innovators should understand how DEI enhances their organizational and programmatic efforts and should be working towards developing comprehensive DEI strategies to advance this priority across their organizations. In addition, teams should have measurable goals to evaluate their progress.
- FINANCIAL SUSTAINABILITY: We are interested in supporting organizations that grow their impact and it is impossible to do that with philanthropy alone. To that end, we look for organizations with plans for achieving financial sustainability through a mix of revenue sources (e.g., earned revenue, government grants, partnership fees).
While we prioritize investing in early-stage organizations (generally 0 to 2 years old), we also invest in new initiatives (0 to 2 years old) at existing organizations. We recognize that many leaders of color may have been working to launch a new organization for more than 2 years, but may not yet have formalized their approach. We encourage you to reach out to our team to discuss your eligibility.
Given our strategic focus, we highly encourage Black, Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander and Indigenous leaders to apply.
Apply by August 6, 2021. We will invite select teams to interview with us by October 1 and finalize decisions by November 19.
- Application opens: June 23, 2021
- Application supports:
- Application closes: August 6 at 11:59 pm PT
- Applicants are notified on a rolling basis if they are moving to the finalist round. All updates will be shared by October 1
- Phone interviews and reference calls: September 27 – October 20
- Interview supports and guidance will be provided to applicants who are invited to this stage
- Notification of final funding decision: by November 19
Sign up to get updates about our teacher diversity funding opportunity.