April 22, 2010
Contact: Aaron Hunter 202-225-2040
Rep. Susan Davis Introduces Bill to Increase Diversity Among Teachers
Men and minorities underrepresented in the teaching ranks
Washington – Only 16 percent of teachers come from minority backgrounds, inspiring Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) to introduce legislation to increase diversity among America’s teaching ranks. The Diverse Teachers Recruitment Act (H.R. 5096) would allow school districts to access federal funds to establish programs to recruit new male teachers and teachers from minority groups.
“Statistics show a need to recruit more diversity in the teaching force,” said Davis, a member of the House Education and Labor Committee. “We need to bring teachers from underrepresented groups into the classrooms so students can have role models who are like them. A more diverse teaching force could enhance the public school system and the experience of students.”
During the 2007-2008 school year, an estimated 7 percent of teachers were African American, 7 percent Latino, and 1.2 percent were Asian, according to the Department of Education. More than 83 percent of teachers were white. In the overall numbers, over 75 percent of teachers were female and only about 24 percent males.
Some educators believe the lack of diversity leaves some students without an inspiring role model to whom they can relate. The result may be lower test scores and higher drop-out rates within some student demographics. Educators have linked higher dropout rates among African American students to the lack of African American male teachers in the school system.
Davis’s bill would provide competitive grants to school districts to design and implement recruiting programs to bring teachers from underrepresented groups into the classroom. The Department of Education would analyze the programs and disseminate which were effective in recruiting minority teachers. Successful results could be replicated in other school districts.