New Teacher Center in Santa Cruz downsizing

SANTA CRUZ >> The New Teacher Center, a $39 million Santa Cruz nonprofit that runs mentor programs for beginning teachers in New York, Chicago and East Palo Alto, is downsizing staff.

“In early April we had 207 employees,” said Ellen Moir, who founded the Santa Cruz New Teacher Project in 1988 at UC Santa Cruz before going nationwide in 1998. “We expect to have 190 employees on July 1 the beginning of our new fiscal year.”

Most of the employee work in locations where teachers are mentored, with 45 employees based in the downtown Santa Cruz office.

Moir said eight people were laid off, including three in Santa Cruz, with others departing due to retirement or resignation, and some were on one-year contracts.

“If we don’t get additional resources, we wouldn’t be able to keep those people,” she said.

The downsizing is not because the nonprofit’s federal grants are affected by the new Trump administration.

“To the best of our knowledge, our federal grants should be fine,” Moir said.

Three multimillion-dollar grants from the U.S. Department of Education are ongoing.

A $14.7 million award, which concludes Dec. 31, covers a four-year effort targeting first- and second-year teachers teaching 164,000 students in Chicago, Broward County, Florida, and Iowa.

Then came a $20 million grant from 2016 to 2020 at six school systems, in Florida, Denver, Fresno, New York City and San Francisco, to scale up the Santa Cruz model for supporting and retaining effective new…

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