SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher Announces $445,000 Grant For TeachNY

January 5, 2017

Albany – State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher today announced a $445,000 planning grant awarded to SUNY by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The grant will support and expand TeachNY efforts to uplift the teaching profession by addressing perceived and real gaps in services and resources currently available to teachers.

"New York has some of the best teachers in the country, and through TeachNY, we will do all we can to support them," said Chancellor Zimpher. "As we traveled the state and meet with teachers, superintendents, college faculty, and students, several common themes emerged. As a result, we will implement better strategies to recruit and retain excellent teachers in our schools. We will increase clinical practice for pre-service teachers so they are not learning on the job. We will provide professional development opportunities that span a teacher’s career; and that’s just the beginning. All of this is critical to the success of TeachNY and all will be supported in some way by this grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation."

"This generous grant from the Gates Foundation gives us the opportunity to make smart investments that we know will not only make a difference in the classroom but will also help keep our teachers in the profession and encourage others to consider a career in education," said New York State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia. "These dollars will go a long way in helping us head off our impending teacher shortage and reestablish teaching as the valued and respected profession that it is. With this new funding, we have the resources to make New York the national gold standard for teacher recruitment, preparation, and retention."

Specifically, the grant will be used to support, expand, and launch the following TeachNY activities:

  • Support the work of the TeachNY Statewide Roundtable, which has convened key stakeholders to discuss ways in which New York can collaborate to implement recommendations of the TeachNY Advisory Council;
  • Launch the New York Teachers Summit, a gathering of 2,500 teachers across the state to provide a forum for them to learn from one another and to celebrate the teaching profession;
  • Conduct a landscape analysis of New York's existing organizations and teacher networks to explore the potential of collective impact or improved coordination; and
  • Assess SUNY’s capacity to serve as a regional hub to support teachers in hosting Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teaching and Teachers (ECET2) events.
About TeachNY

TeachNY is a movement to lift up the teaching profession and ensure that New York and the nation will have the high quality educators needed for the future. TeachNY is working to: promote the power of teaching; cement a clinical practice profession; secure investment in innovative educator preparation; improve transparency about supply and demand; and support the entire educator preparation pipeline.

Alongside the TeachNY Statewide Roundtable and listening tour sessions, a steering committee headed by SUNY Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Alexander N. Cartwright, meets regularly to take in feedback received. Ultimately, the steering committee will develop new teacher preparation policy for Chancellor Zimpher to bring to the SUNY Board of Trustees. Similarly, based on input from all sectors and regions, Commissioner Elia will advance new teacher preparation policy for the Board of Regents’ consideration.

About the New York State Education Department

The New York State Education Department is part of the University of the State of New York (USNY), one of the most complete, interconnected systems of educational services in the United States. Its mission is to raise the knowledge, skill, and opportunity of all the people in New York. Its vision is to provide leadership for a system that yields the best educated people in the world. For more information, visit

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, with 64 college and university campuses located within 30 miles of every home, school, and business in the state. As of Fall 2018, more than 424,000 students were enrolled in a degree program at a SUNY campus. In total, SUNY served 1.4 million students in credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs in the 2017-18 academic year. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Its students and faculty make significant contributions to research and discovery, contributing to a $1.6 billion research portfolio. There are 3 million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit

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