Kentucky Group Seeks More Minority Teachers
ALouisville group looking for more minority teachers is providing scholarship money for students who promise to teach in Jefferson County.
The Gheens Foundation recently gave $80,000 in scholarship money to Western Kentucky University to distribute to students over four years. In return, the students must agree to work in the county’s public schools for at least two years after graduating. Preference will be given to minorities.
African Americans constitute 32 percent of the district’s 96,000 students, but only 15 percent of the district’s 5,800 teachers. Officials with the Gheens Scholars Program say the scholarships could bring as many as 40 new minority teachers to the district.
“We’re always looking for ways to enhance the number of minority teachers, and even one more helps,” says Superintendent Stephen Daeschner.
The district has spent millions of dollars in recent years to bridge the gap between the numbers of minority students and teachers, district recruiter Rita Greer says. District members’ efforts have included mentoring high school students, targeting midcareer professionals for teaching and attending job fairs.
But so far, these efforts have made little impact.. The percentage of minority teachers last year stood at 15.3 percent, compared with 14.6 percent in 1992.
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