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.
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.
Actor former NFL player Terry Crews has sealed a deal to become the new host of the syndicated Who Wants To Be A Millionaire for the next 13th season, which launches in the fall. He succeeds Cedric the Entertainer, who hosted the show this season. Who Wants To Be A Millionaire is going through a number of changes, including a move to to Stamford, Connecticut where it is expected to benefit from a tax break.
Crews, who co-stars in Fox’s comedy series Brooklyn Nine-Nine, had been exploring doing a syndicated show and met with several studios, with Disney-ABC jumping in with the Millionaire offer. “Terry is engaging, endearing, smart, and quick on his feet — the perfect combination to lead one of the longest-running franchises in game show history,” said Janice Marinelli, president, Disney-ABC Domestic TV.
This marks the latest career expansion for Crews who started as an athlete before moving to entertainment. “In addition to my film projects including Blended, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and now being a first time author, hosting has always been a dream of mine, and I couldn’t have asked for a greater opportunity,” he said. Crews’ recent credits include a recurring stints on The Newsroom and Arrested Development and roles in Tyler Perry’s The Single Moms Club and Ivan Reitman’s Draft Day.
Next up is the comedy Blended with Adam Sandler and he’ll be reprising his role as “Hale Caesar” in the third installment of the Expendables franchise. Crews also penned his first book, memoir “Manhood,” which comes out May 20.