Increase teachers of color act in higher education bill

Students who learn about different cultures during their education feel more comfortable and safe with these differences later on in life. This allows them to interact in a wider range of social groups and feel more confident in themselves as well as in their interactions with others. Minnesota has a constant shortage of teachers of color and American Indian teachers. Advocates proclaim that is a major reason why the state continues to have the nation’s poorest education gap. Rep. Alicia Kozlowski of Duluth is looking to increase the act to give even more support and retention for teachers of color. During a hearing today many teachers gave their testimonies on the importance of this.

“I have heard first hand in my work the stories of many teachers who are graduates of our programs who would not have been able to complete and become teachers without the financial support from these programs. Research shows that over half of educators have significant student loan debt and that educators of color have significantly more student loan debt than their than white educator peers,” says Laura Mogelson, from Minnesota Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.

“I was the only black teacher for almost a decade in my previous district, which has almost 50% students of color,” said Jess Davis a former teacher.

The bill sets a goal that the percentage of teachers of color or American Indian should increase at least two percentage points per year to have a teaching workforce that more closely reflects the student population and ensure students have equitable access to effective and diverse teachers by 2040. While most of the policy proposals from last year’s bill are reintroduced, some new sections are added and some sections have been strengthened. Appropriations totaling approximately $100 million are proposed to meet needs for increasing the percentage of BIPOC teachers in Minnesota.