The push to recruit and retain more educators of color

Public schools across the country are more racially and linguistically diverse than ever, including the students in Salem-Keizer Public Schools. But most of the educators who work with them are not. 

About 54% of Salem-Keizer’s nearly 42,000 students identify as a race or ethnicity other than white. This includes Latino/Hispanic, Black/African American, Pacific Islander, Native American and indigenous students.

By comparison, 13% of teachers, 15% of administrators and 30% of classified staff are racially or ethnically diverse.

When staff diversity better reflects that of its students, studies show, there are higher expectations, stronger communities and better outcomes for students and staff. 

Salem-Keizer’s staff diversity has steadily increased in recent years, and the district has several programs in place to help hire more educators of color.

But many argue more needs to be done, ranging from more financial assistance to complete higher education degrees and obtain teacher licenses to providing more advancement opportunities for staff of color. 

Read the full story here.

Published by Natalie Pate

Natalie Pate is a freelance journalist and author based in Salem, Oregon. She wrote about education for more than seven years at the Statesman Journal and now covers education and other topics throughout the Pacific Northwest. She is originally from Colorado and earned her B.A. in Politics and French from Willamette University.

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