Connecticut Lawmakers Vote Unanimously for Bill Geared to Recruit and Retain More Teachers of Color

(photo via United Federations of Teachers)

by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

According to the CT Post, this Monday Connecticut State Representative Patricia Billie Miller (D-Stamford) helped push through an unanimous bill to direct the state Department of Education to take more steps to recruit and retain minority teachers. The Senate previously approved the measure, so it will pass to Governor Dannel Malloy‘s desk for a signature.

Miller, who grew up in Stamford, didn’t have a black teacher until she was in the eighth grade. That teacher helped Miller become a successful student, she said. So years later, Miller was dismayed when her daughter, now 28, also only had one black teacher in Stamford schools. “It helps when you have someone in front of you that looks like you,” the Democrat said Monday.

State Representative Patricia Billie Miller (D-Conn) [Photo: Erik Trautmann / Hearst Connecticut Media]
Although non-white students are approximately one third of Connecticut’s school population, teachers of color are only 7 percent of the state’s public school faculty, according to the state Commission on Equity and Opportunity.

The bill Miller voted in favor of directs the Department to modernize its educator certification processes, develop private partnerships to increase recruitment and intervene where necessary in local board of education’s efforts to prioritize hiring minority teachers.

Lawmakers of both parties noted the diversity of thought and culture that teachers of color can bring to a classroom, benefiting children of all races. “We are providing a deficient education to our children if we are not providing a school system and faculty that reflects this state and this country,” said Rep. Andrew Fleischmann, D-West Hartford, House chair of the Education Committee.

4 thoughts on “Connecticut Lawmakers Vote Unanimously for Bill Geared to Recruit and Retain More Teachers of Color”

  1. Are they going to hire and keep them simply because of skin color? A bad teacher is a bad teacher regardless of skin color. Funny how they throw out the word Diversity so easily, when the reality is that there is no real Diversity of thought within the Black community, and if you do dare to have a thought other than the one the community wants you to have, then you are quickly called derogatory names and ridiculed for daring to believe or think something different…There is a lack of GOOD teachers in the system, and this should be addressed rather the pushing to hire and retain due to skin color…

  2. What does “people of color” mean? Does it mean that as long as the teacher is not White that Black students will somehow be better off? For example, if someone from Mexico with racial animus against Blacks is selected as a “person of color” that Black students will be better off? We have to stop this “people of color” garbage when it comes to addressing issues affecting Black people because all non-Black people have the same attitude towards Black. Do not lump Black people in a people of color pool because that hides the persistent and insidious discrimination against Black people that no other so called people of color experience or have ever experienced throughout the history of the US. The Black experience with hatred and discrimination in the US is unique and unparalleled.

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