Nevermind whether or not we need Teach for America in Seattle, I don't see why we need a contract with Teach for America.
The Teach for America corps members will have conditional certifications, which function identically to traditional certification. In Phase III of our hiring process the District accepts applications from certificated teachers who are not already employed by the District. Consequently, we don't need a contract with Teach for America for their members to be allowed to apply for jobs as teachers in our District. Their conditional certification, granted by the state, allows it.
The contract does oblige the District to pay Teach for America $4,000 for each one that we happen to hire out of that pool, but the District has no intention of paying the $4,000. They expect an outside party (Gates Foundation via the Seattle Foundation) to meet the $4,000 obligation. That outside party is willing to pay it, they want to pay it, they are waiting to pay it. They don't need a contractual obligation to justify it.
So why even have the contract? Why not just have the Teach for America candidates in the Phase III hiring pool along with everyone else and have the philanthropic foundation make the payment if a TFA candidate is hired without any need for a separate agreement between the District and Teach for America?
I know that Teach for America wants access to student information, but they don't need a contract for that either. They can simply request it, and the the District will provide it under existing policies. Again, no need for a contract.
This appears to be a needless step that does nothing but irritate the community and upset our teachers. Why are we doing this? If principals want to hire Teach for America trained and supported teachers, they are free to do so with or without this contract. Aren't they?