May 29, 2019

Educators for Excellence-Connecticut Applauds State Senate for Passing An Act Concerning Minority Teacher Recruitment and Retention

May 29 (New Haven) - Educators for Excellence-Connecticut (E4E-Connecticut), a teacher-led organization, applauds the Connecticut State Senate for unanimously passing An Act Concerning Minority Teacher Recruitment and Retention, which would address roadblocks that keep educators of color out of the classroom, such as reciprocity agreements with other states, providing flexibility in certification requirements, and improving recruitment of teachers of color. The bill is now on the General Assembly’s consent calendar.

“As an African-American male teacher, I see firsthand the impact a talented and diverse staff has on my students, peers and the school community,” said Ryan Brown, seventh-grade math teacher at Read School in Bridgeport and member of E4E-Connecticut. “One of my students whom I notice tends to shut down with other teachers, asks questions, diligently completes his work, and shows interest in the subject matter when in my classroom. I am his only Black teacher, and I believe my identity has a significant impact on his belief in himself and his ability to achieve. I am proud that legislators coalesced around this bill, which will diversify our state’s teaching population, and look forward to Governor Lamont signing this bill into law.”

“Numerous studies have shown that students of color do better when they have educators of color in the classroom, however our state has overwhelming disparities and should be doing more to ensure diversity in our schools,” Governor Ned Lamont said. “Our bill was designed to continue the important conversation on recruiting more teachers of color, and tackle the issue through a variety of ways. Enacting these improvements will be a direct investment in the classroom and in student success. All students should have access to positive teaching and learning experiences so they can be prepared for the global workforce that awaits them. I urge the House to act on this pending legislation so that I can sign it into law.”

“It has been truly gratifying for E4E teachers to work with legislators, the Governor and the Minority Teacher Recruitment Task Force to ensure that all students – especially our students of color — have access to educators that represent them and their history,” said Andréa Comer, Executive Director of E4E-Connecticut. “This bill is a step in the right direction toward diversifying Connecticut’s teacher population and improving outcomes for students. We are grateful to Governor Lamont for prioritizing educator diversity and look forward to him signing this bill.”

Throughout the 2019 legislative session, E4E-CT teachers have written and submitted testimonies, contacted their elected officials, and written a policy paper that provides recommendations regarding how legislators can improve teacher diversity in Connecticut. 
 

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