Tom Joyner Foundation Partners With NEA to Help Minority Teachers Gain Certification

Tom Joyner Foundation Partners With NEA to Help
Minority Teachers Gain Certification

Tom Joyner, the nationally syndicated radio personality and philanthropist, is partnering with the National Education Association (NEA) to distribute more than $700,000 to encourage current minority teachers to complete their certification and ultimately teach minority children in urban, suburban and rural public schools.

The program is designed to increase the number of fully certified minority teachers around the country. The teachers will be able to take classes on the campuses of seven historically Black colleges and universities: Clark Atlanta University; Bowie State University; Jackson State University; Johnson C. Smith University; Cheyney State University; Tennessee State University; and Harris Stowe State College.

Reg Weaver, president of the 2.7-million member NEA, says partnering with the foundation would go a long way toward supporting minority teachers by providing sorely needed resources to assist them in completing their certification.

“Fewer than 50 percent of African Americans pass teacher entrance exams,” Weaver says. “To their credit, the Tom Joyner Foundation recognized this disparity and is stepping up to help more minority teachers reach their goal, while also assisting public schools by providing them with licensed teachers in the urban, suburban and rural classrooms where they are needed most.”

To qualify for the program the teachers must be currently working in a public school with a high percentage of minority students. The NEA will review applications and refer them to the certification program at the closest participating HBCU. All applicants must commit to teach a minimum of three years in an affected urban, suburban or rural community as a condition of admission to the program. Teachers will be able to download applications from the Tom Joyner Foundation Web site at <>. 

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