New York’s Democratic-led state Senate approved a package of measures Monday aimed at increasing diversity in schools. The measures consist of several bills, including the creation of a task force to study the effects of underrepresentation in teaching, as well as recruitment and retention programs for minority and bilingual educators. Additionally, statewide conventions for underrepresented educators would be created to facilitate the development of plans.
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins believes that educators serve as role models and are instrumental in helping young people shape their hopes and dreams. However, this can only happen when students see themselves in their teachers.
Balancing the diversity of teachers is crucial to furthering New York’s educational reforms and keeping learning institutions as inclusive as possible. The Senate Majority Leader expressed gratitude to the bill sponsors and committee chairs for advancing this critical legislation.
The Senate Education Committee Chairwoman Shelley Mayer said the bills would benefit all students by broadening perspectives and experiences. School districts in New York would create their programs to attract underrepresented teaching candidates, and a teachers of tomorrow program would help find and retain teachers from underrepresented groups, expanding the demographics of the state’s teaching ranks. Lawmakers are hopeful that these measures will make schools stronger and more representative of the state’s diverse population.
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