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Effective Teaching & Leading RFP - CLOSED!

AdobeStock_163314612-(1).jpegCommunities Foundation of Texas (CFT) has aligned our strategic grantmaking in education with the state’s ambitious 60x30 goal to significantly increase the number of young adults who have the educational credentials needed to thrive in a 21st century economy. For schools to vastly increase the number of students attaining postsecondary degrees and credentials of value, teachers and school leaders will play a vital role. Research has repeatedly shown that the quality of classroom instruction is the primary school-related driver of student achievement. CFT has a longstanding commitment to supporting programs that recruit, prepare, retain, and support the advancement of a high-quality teaching and school leadership workforce in North Texas.

Teachers and school leadership went above and beyond to continue to educate and support students during the past year of the pandemic. While some parts of society came to recognize teachers as heroes, many teachers reported that they did not feel adequately supported or protected. The Learning Policy Institute found that the pandemic worsened already critical teacher shortages. In Texas, those shortages are most acute in specialized subject areas and high-need schools. The shortage of highly qualified teachers and leaders with experience navigating the unique challenges of urban schools exacerbates educational inequalities.  Schools that serve children from low-income families are more likely to rely on less credentialed and novice teachers. As society continues to grapple with the ongoing effects of the pandemic and look for ways to transform schools to better serve all learners, this is an opportune time to focus on teachers and the school leadership that supports them.

Communities Foundation of Texas is seeking proposals for projects that increase the pipeline of new, diverse, and well-equipped teachers, and to help teachers become school leaders through continued education, mentorship, and coaching.

According to the Learning Policy Institute, strategies that build a sustainable pipeline of educators include:

  • Grow-your-own programs
  • Teacher residencies
  • Financial support for teaching candidates
We are seeking North Texas partners who can enhance such efforts through evidence-informed technical assistance, new research that studies the efficacy of current efforts, and continuous program improvement to innovate and improve outcomes for educators serving high-need public schools. Since students do better when taught by teachers who match their ethnic and racial characteristics, CFT also aims to ensure that the educator pipeline reflects the diversity of North Texas students and that these educators have the necessary support to obtain positions of leadership within schools.

How do I submit my proposal?

You can submit your proposal through our online submission form, here or by clicking the button below. We recommend using the downloadable version of the application when drafting your responses before uploading them into the online submission form, as there are limits to word counts for each question and the online form does not allow applicants to save work and return to it. Final answers must be submitted through the online application. Download the application here or under Resources on the right side of the page.


Submissions were accepted through September 14.

Accessing the online form to submit your proposal:

  • Visit our online application portal:
  • Select “Create a New Account” (or Log On if you already have an account) and follow the prompts
  • To access the online form, select the green “Apply” link in the top left-hand corner
  • Read the summary of the opportunity, click the blue “Apply” button, fill out the online form, and then click “Submit Application” at the bottom of the page

*See below for our funding levels, funding categories, eligibility requirements, virtual office hours, and a recording of our Learning RFP: Overview Webinar.

Funding Levels

Applicants may request funding up to the following limits:
  • Promising Practice Research: $500,000 for a grant period of up to two (2) years
  • Strengthening Educator Pathways: $500,000 for a grant period of up to three (3) years
Applicants may select a grant term of up to two (2) years for the Promising Practice Research category and up to three (3) years for the Strengthening Educator Pathways category. The above funding limits cover the entire grant period and are not annual amounts.

For each proposal, grantees must provide: (1) a project budget, and (2) a corresponding budget narrative that clearly outlines and describes the total costs.

CFT permits grantees to request funding for direct costs associated with the project, and reasonable indirect costs. Institutions of higher education, including community colleges and universities, may receive an indirect cost rate of 10% of total direct project costs. Full-time employees at institutions of higher education whose salaries are covered by the institution may not include salary support in the project budget without a detailed justification.

Funding Categories

We are seeking applications from organizations and/or collaborations that provide projects and programs in one of the following funding categories:

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There is currently a dearth of information about the efficacy of regional pipeline programs to recruit, prepare, and retain high-quality and diverse teachers. We cannot scale up policies that work without more information about best practices. Within this funding category, we are looking for research organizations and educational institutions that have or want to establish data sharing agreements and conduct novel research examining the efficacy of existing educator pipeline programs. This may also include documenting the value-add training experiences that produce effective, high-quality teachers and/or leaders. We are seeking descriptive analyses that demonstrate the flow of applicants through programs, expose barriers to progress, and highlight features of programs that are successful. For example, an analysis may be conducted of students who accumulate college credits through the educator pathway in high school to trace their engagement, completion, and post-graduation career outcomes. Because the goal of teacher recruitment and preparation programs is to increase the supply of high-quality teachers, applicants should (where relevant) define and seek to quantify the proportion of teaching candidates who meet that designation.

There are multiple ways into the teaching profession in North Texas, including university based and alternative certification programs. Teaching aides, early childhood educators, and applicants who have not had careers or completed degrees in specialized subjects may all be excellent future classroom teachers. Given the fragmented nature of training programs and the need in some cases to build incentives or supports around candidates to help them achieve certification, we are seeking applications from providers who are preparing teachers and leaders for work in high-need public schools, creating alignments across programs, and/or designing strategies to build incentives into training. Successful applicants will be from data-driven organizations that use evidence and ongoing data collection to inform practice.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

See below for our eligibility requirements.

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To apply, applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements:
  • Have a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt designation from the Internal Revenue Service that has been active for at least two years as of September 1, 2019 (which has or an affiliation with an established organization), and not be in violation of any applicable state, local or federal law, ordinance or regulation.
  • At least 50% of the population served must reside in one of the following counties:
Collin Cooke Dallas Denton Ellis
Erath Fannin Grayson Hood Hunt
Johnson Kaufman Montague Navarro Palo Pinto
Parker Rockwall Somervell Tarrant Wise
  • Preference will be given to programs that support underrepresented and/or economically disadvantaged populations.  Special considerations will be given to programs that target high school students and/or young adults under 34.
  • Preference will be given to programs that are preparing teachers and leaders for work in high-need public and/or charter schools. 
  • Preference will be given to applicants that can demonstrate a track record of effective, evidence-informed, data-driven practice, and whose grant would have impact beyond a single entity or institution.
  • Preference will be given to applicants who can demonstrate additional funder commitments for the proposed work.

  • Individuals
  • For-Profit Businesses
  • Agencies/programs provided outside of the stated North Texas geographic areas
  • Non-US based organizations
  • Church and religious organizations’ programs that are focused on evangelism

Learning RFP: Overview Webinar

Missed our Learning RFP: Overview Webinar? No problem! Watch a recording of the webinar by clicking the button below.

Watch the Learning RFP: Overview Webinar

Download our Learning RFP Overview Presentation Slides here

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