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June 1, 2013

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This is ultimately an issue of doing what is best for the children of the Las Vegas Valley. Teach For America has educated tens of thousands of children at a very high level for the past 10 years, and the organization should be honored for their growth and reach to now even more children in high need areas.

As a fifth-year Teach For America teacher, I am very excited to see the organization growing because I know how incredibly beneficial these teachers are to a student's learning and overall well-being. Everybody has a right to their personal opinions about Teach For America, and from what I've read in many comments sections those opinions are just false. I have read that Teach For America teachers are only placed in elementary schools, and only stay for their required two years. Personally I am offended by this notion because, as a High School Science teacher, I have been near the top of the list of rankings regarding student performance on the Nevada High School Proficiency Exam for the past four years. All while doing this at a high needs school. I have spent countless hours helping students fill out college applications and scholarships; ultimately leading to dozens of students attending post-secondary education that would not have otherwise done so. I wake up everyday with my students lives on my mind and in my heart as a FIRST priority. I am not an anomaly, either. There are scores of teachers just like me that have moved to and made a home in Las Vegas, and have been developed into excellent teachers all thanks to Teach For America. If you ever want to see the direct impact of Teacher For America on schools and students, ask a parent of a student with a TFA teacher. Ask a principal that has ever had a TFA teacher in their school. Ask the students themselves how they have been impacted by their TFA teacher.

With all of that said, we are dealing with an issue that should not be controversial. We are talking about providing a small amount of funding for an organization that recruits, brings in, and develops highly motivated and highly educated people from all across the country to teach in our most needed schools. Without this funding, this organization, or these teachers, the classroom would be led by a long term substitute. It is a non-issue when you think of this bill in this simple context: Would you rather have your student learn from a TFA teacher or a long-term substitute?

I am extremely confident that the assembly will make the right choice and allow for the bill to pass knowing that the money is going to an organization that works relentlessly to provide the best education possible for our students.

Thank you for your time.
Kevin Kloeker

(Suggest removal) 6/1/13 at 2:48 p.m.

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