Home California Legislation to Diversify the Teaching Workforce Advances with Unanimous Assembly Education Committee Support

Legislation to Diversify the Teaching Workforce Advances with Unanimous Assembly Education Committee Support

by ECT

SACRAMENTO— New legislation designed to help support male educators of color and diversify the teaching workforce—sponsored by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond and authored by Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson (D-Carson)—received unanimous approval from the California State Assembly Committee on Education today, accelerating efforts to create an educator workforce to better reflect the students it serves.

Assembly Bill (AB) 520, which will head to the Appropriations Committee next Wednesday, will establish the California Diversifying Teacher Grant Program, awarding $15 million in grants for school districts to provide one-time competitive grants that develop and implement new (or expand existing) programs that address a local need to develop the teacher workforce while emphasizing the retention of male teachers of color.

“When I talk to students, they tell me they want to learn from adults who look like them and have shared their life experiences. There is mounting research that tells us that teachers of color boost the academic performance of all students—but especially students of color. This includes improved reading and math test scores, improved graduation rates, and increases in aspirations to attend college,” Thurmond said. “We’ve long known that having teachers of color matters for students of color—but our public schools do not reflect this. We can and must do better if we want to dismantle the historic educational inequities in ways that can level the playing field for all students.”

“Student success is amplified when they are taught by teachers who reflect the diversity of those students. In addition to academic benefits, students of color experience social-emotional gains to having teachers who look like them, also lessening the likelihood of chronic absenteeism and suspension,” Gipson said. “Assembly Bill 520 seeks to create a program that will prepare and invest in the recruitment and retention of a larger and diverse pool of teachers. It will assist California with addressing the racial and ethnic disparities that exist throughout the state, helping to reduce the equity gap.”

Men of color comprise less than 10 percent of California’s teaching force, with Black and Latinx men making up 1 percent and 2 percent of their peers. Data show that only one-third of teachers are non-white, even though students of color make up about three-quarters of California’s student population.

Statistics show that male teachers are leaving high-need schools when they do not have the support strategies in place to help develop their teaching skills. These strategies can include, but are not limited to, social and emotional learning, school climate, trauma support, and restorative justice.

Additionally, research shows that Black and Latinx educators feel that they’re not valued and feel frustration at being expected to take on extra duties without compensation or even the necessary support systems. As a result, teachers of color give up their careers more often than white teachers do.

AB 520 will address retention problems by enhancing a school district’s ability to equip, cultivate, and bolster male teachers of color within its schools to effectively preserve teachers. Schools that foster an environment of professional learning are more likely to attract and retain teachers in high-need schools.

Schools that invest in retention strategies that cultivate success and professional learning are more likely to retain male teachers of color. By concentrating on the investment of teachers of color, California will address the racial and ethnic disparities that exist throughout the state, helping to reduce the equity gap.
More information on AB 520 can be found in the bill analysis.

(Press Release) The California Department of Education is a state agency led by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond. For more information, please visit the California Department of Education’s website. You may also follow Superintendent Thurmond on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

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6 comments

Jane dough Apr 8, 2021 - 9:17 am

How exactly does one diversify a workplace with out intentionally discriminating against all other races ?
And furthermore, will a person of color be hired solely based on their skin color and not by the credentials they bring to the tables?
Will a white teacher with a PhD be passed up for an African American teacher with a masters, only because he was born with white skin?

If black students really care about the skin color of their teacher (racist in itself) we should probably be teaching them that skin color is truly just that. Skin color.
Or maybe that growing up to be teachers, police, and doctors should be their dream. We do not fix racism with blatant racism

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Kim skip Apr 8, 2021 - 9:24 am

Dying at the fact that even when they are educated, have worked for a career, and pushed themselves… they’re still too lazy to stick with a job. This article is pointing out all the flaws of minorities in the work force. Good job sac! You highlighted what everyone already knew… blacks are not the best option to hire and yet you’re actively seeking to hire more ?!

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Are blacks ever offended by this sort of thing? Apr 8, 2021 - 2:01 pm

Just keep spoon feeding em! So they arent smart enough to vote , they cant pay their bills, cant hold jobs? Is that about right?
Get up, get an education, get a job, go to work! Its not that difficult. Unless you want to live off handouts and have no pride.

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Don Martin Apr 9, 2021 - 3:16 pm

We don’t have to worry about this. Our kids are in private schools.

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Robert C. Apr 10, 2021 - 8:55 am

I have to believe that Dr. MLK Jr. would not be pleased at such a policy.

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Mark Taylor Apr 10, 2021 - 2:40 pm

My misguided, very-liberal grandfather, who runs a large law firm in San Francisco, hired a couple of black law school grads (last in their class) as a gesture of good will. This proved to be a total disaster as these guys did absolutely nothing of value and just royally screwed up cases, but wanted to get paid! He fired them. Then he hired a bunch more. Same results!

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