Osseo School District Backs Bill to Increase Hiring Teachers of Color
Over the past 15 years, the student population in many northwest suburban schools has become more racially diverse. What hasn’t changed that much is the number of teachers of color.
That disparity is why the Osseo School District is supporting the Increase Teachers of Color Act.
The bill is aiming to increase teachers of color as well as Native American teachers each year by 2%.
Data collected by the state’s teaching licensing board shows Minnesota is now at 35% students of color or indigenous heritage. That’s compared to 5.6% teachers of color or American Indian.
Bouakham Moua, the Osseo School District’s human resources director, said it’s important to have representation in the classroom because it can help close opportunity and achievement gaps among students.
“Students and staff of color and also our white colleagues have expressed that they can certainly benefit from having staff of color within their building, even more so when taking tests,” said Moua. “Students learn best when they are taught by people who have similar life experiences and know about their communities.”
The legislation is requesting one-time funding for existing programs that focus on attracting, preparing and retaining teachers of color.
The bill would also require the teacher licensing board to waive test fees for low-income test takers and provide free full-length practice tests.
There’s still no vote on the bill but some portions of it could end up in the final education package that lawmakers will vote on at the end of the session.