Also funds RootED Fellowship

Sands donates $100,000 to Teach for America Nevada to combat teacher shortage, boost education quality

Reading time 2:18 min

Las Vegas Sands has contributed $100,000 through the Sands Cares initiative to Teach for America (TFA) Nevada. The funds will go towards recruitment efforts and the RootED Fellowship, supporting the nonprofit’s efforts to attract and retain high-performing teachers for high-need classrooms in Southern Nevada.

Both Sands Cares funding areas address Southern Nevada’s unprecedented levels of teacher shortages and will assist TFA Nevada in working toward its goal of realizing a network of 800 TFA education leaders in the region by 2025, the company said in a statement. The efforts are aimed at improving the quality and equity of the region’s educational offerings and student outcomes.

TFA Nevada is the local affiliate of Teach for America, a national leadership development organization founded in 1990 to find, develop and support equity-oriented leaders to transform education and expand opportunities for all children. Through its programming, TFA recruits and develops a diverse corps of leaders who make an initial two-year commitment to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in an effort to end educational inequity.

TFA Nevada had 87 corps members in the 2023-24 school year and works with more than 50 partner schools, primarily in the Clark County School District.

“This Sands Cares contribution is an investment in Nevada’s future,” Sean Parker, executive director at TFA Nevada, said. “This critical support helps us recruit and retain diverse and talented educational leaders who accelerate the progress of young Nevadans in their journey toward economic mobility.”

Half of the Sands Cares funding will support the RootED Fellowship, which provides grants to retain TFA corps members who have completed their initial two-year commitment to the organization. The program aims to lower transiency rates and keep more experienced teachers in high-need school sites.

It is a critical retention program since the most challenged schools in the Clark County School District have an annual teacher transiency rate of just over 22% compared to a district-wide rate of just over 16%. This turnover exacerbates inequities in student achievement, which can translate into lifelong disparities in educational, career and financial outcomes, said Sands.

The Sands Cares’ contribution enables engagement with 20-25 high-performing educators who lead in high-need schools located in Clark County, the statement said. The fellowship will provide teachers with tailored professional development and community across the Southern Nevada educational landscape.

The balance of the funding will support TFA Nevada’s recruiting efforts with the goal of attracting at least 50 new teachers for the start of the 2024-2025 school year to Clark County School District. In addition, the contribution also will underwrite workforce development programming and resources that support educator retention, which are important components in paving the way to improved educational outcomes for underserved students.

The contribution aims to address pressing public education needs in Southern Nevada. At the start of the 2023-2024 school year, Clark County School District reported nearly 1,200 teacher vacancies, and many of the school sites with the highest number of vacancies are in Title I schools that serve historically under-resourced and low-income households in which student achievement is disproportionately impacted.

“TFA Nevada is a vital resource for the public education system in Southern Nevada, and we want to help increase its impact by supporting efforts to retain and recruit high-quality educators,” said Ron Reese, senior vice president of global communications and corporate affairs, who spearheads corporate responsibility initiatives for the company.

“TFA’s work aligns with our focus on ensuring our communities maintain a strong educational foundation and closing gaps in access to resources that improve student outcomes.”

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