Teach For America-Charlotte

Charlotte, NC



There is an urgent need for excellent teachers in Charlotte. High-poverty schools in Charlotte face an acute teacher shortage – in fact, there were over 100 CMS classrooms without a permanent teacher on the first day of school in the 2014-15 year.


Teach For America-Charlotte works to meet CMS’ continued need for diverse, outstanding talent. Research at the state and county level has found that teachers recruited and trained by TFA are the most effective in the state.


In Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Teach For America's 550 corps members and alumni impact 20,000 students, more than 80% of whom come from low-income backgrounds. TFA-Charlotte prioritizes developing diverse, talented teachers and leaders who are committed to Charlotte.

Students taught by TFA-Charlotte teachers have significant academic growth, and TFA teachers are held to rigorous standards for their students’ achievement. As an example, 90% of elementary second-year TFA-Charlotte teachers facilitated 1.6 years of student growth in reading and math.

“In Charlotte, we’ve intentionally built a world class city, a financial powerhouse with strong arts and culture. Now, we must decide to build a world class school system for our city. This system must be drastically different from the status quo and set a model for our state and nation,” said Tim Hurley, TFA-Charlotte’s former Executive Director.

TFA-Charlotte is part of the larger Teach For America movement of recent college graduates who commit to two years of teaching in low-income communities. TFA was founded in 1989 and now has an alumni base of 42,000, 65% of whom work full-time in education. TFA nationally has a rigorous selection process focused on leadership ability, perserverance and a deep commitment to expand opportunities for students.

Nationally, TFA’s goal is to end educational inequity, such that 95% of children growing up in low-income communities graduate from high school prepared for success in college and career. “We believe that every single child has incredible capability, and TFA’s ambitious goal makes the scope of our work clear,” added Hurley. In Charlotte, 43% of economically disadvantaged students passed their end of grade tests in 2014.

Since 2008, The Belk Foundation has invested $490,000 in TFA-Charlotte.