Thanks to Krystal Pickett for this submission on the March 24th Natomas Unified School District meeting.
WHAT IS THE AGENDA ITEM YOU ARE GIVING FEEDBACK ON (IF ANY)? VI.a. Diverse Future Teacher Program Update and
WHAT HAPPENED? The office of Chief Academic Officer (CAO) reported on efforts to recruit and sustain diverse teaching and leadership population. (Great, we need that for our kiddos) CAO anticipated 45 participants, however, they are working with 27 at this time for what they described as hard to fill position such as special education. The approximate support cost per participant was $27, 490.
Since this endeavor three years ago diversity has increased by the following : Black/African American- 6.9% to 22% (that's good!) Hispanic/Latino- 11.2% to 28% (yah!), Asian- 6.9%-17% (needed! especially in light of recent anti Asian hate). Of the diverse applicants which applied 33% were white. CAO acknowledges there is more work to be done. The recruitment efforts include partnering with You Can, HBCU's, AVID, the Mexican Consulate, and IB Organization.
Challenges that they are currently facing in recruiting diverse teachers: shortage of teachers, and other challenges amid COVID. Potential resolutions are to reshape requirement for upcoming fall. The CAO is looking to have approved multiple year budget to continue to invest one time 80% funds. They are also seeking feedback from current participants if the above percentage can be reduced. In the same way, efforts are underway for a "pipeline" into leadership with 80% cost of 1 year credential assistance. (Yaaaas. Because we need diverse school administrators tew!)
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE? Representation is imperative. While their has been an increase in the last 4 years of 6% in diversity, IMO that does not seem significant given the demographic of the student populations diversity. Next step options could include extending the net to recruit candidates through community partnerships as well as mentorship programs to introduce teaching career pathways, entering into neighborhoods which are traditionally diverse in close proximity to Natomas such as Del Paso Heights and the like. (Sounds like some good ideas)
Lingering Questions: Also, what are the efforts to expedite recruitment? Will feedback from current participants be shared with community in and effort to be transparent and adjust process?
Maybe holler at the NUSD Board and ask them these questions if you live in the area.