May 18, 2021

Memorandum in Support of Senate 1100 by Senator Liu Assembly 4689A by Assembly Member Sayegh

The undersigned nonprofit organizations support A4689A/S1100 in order to support the development of effective Grow Your Own programs to increase teacher diversity in the state of New York.

PROVISIONS

This legislation amends the education law to require the Commissioner of Education, in consultation with the Commissioner of Labor, and the Chancellors of SUNY and CUNY, to develop guidelines for districts, BOCES and higher education institutions to use when developing Grow Your Own initiatives. Such guidelines shall include models for local recruitment efforts; initiatives at early recruitment in middle and high school; and partnership models between districts, community-based organizations, teacher preparation institutions and higher education institutions to encourage and support candidates.

REASONS FOR SUPPORT

Research shows that all students, no matter their background, benefit from being taught by teachers of color. New York’s teaching workforce has a wide diversity gap, with students of color1 representing more than half of public school students but only one in five teachers identifying as people of color.2 The pandemic has also worsened the state’s teaching shortage as educators turn away from the profession, posing recruitment and retention challenges for years to come.34

Building this pipeline must include an ability to recruit teachers from local communities, who are well versed in the strengths and issues of the district they serve, and plan to support their community for the long haul. Grow Your Own programs are a promising method to increase the number of diverse, community-based teachers within our districts.5

Yet successfully developing Grow Your Own initiatives is difficult. Providing guidance to a range of stakeholders and decision-makers will simplify the process and allow districts to implement best practices as they seek to remedy their unique challenges. Accordingly, the undersigned organizations support enactment of this legislation. 


Contact: Adam Davis, Educators for Excellence-New York, Managing Director of External Affairs, adavis@e4e.org
Date: May 17, 2021
                                                 
https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.3102/0013189X16671718
https://data.democratandchronicle.com/ny-teacher-diversity/
https://abc7ny.com/ny-teachers-teacher-shortage-retire-7-on-your-side-in...
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/27/us/covid-school-teaching.html
https://www.newamerica.org/education-policy/reports/grow-your-own-teachers/

Signatories:
Education Reform Now
The Education Trust–New York
Educators for Excellence-New York
EPIC - Every Person Influences Children