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State seeks to diversify Connecticut's teachers

Educators point to Capital Prep Charter School in Bridgeport as a place that has found solutions to recruiting a more diverse group of teachers.

News 12 Staff

Feb 1, 2023, 1:30 PM

Updated 508 days ago

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Gov. Ned Lamont is highlighting a newly enacted state law as Black History Month approaches.
The law requires all of Connecticut's high schools to offer courses on African American, Black, Puerto Rican and Latino studies.
Lamont signed legislation for this requirement in 2019 and it officially went into effect in the 2022-23 school year.
Connecticut is the first state in the country to require schools to offer these studies.
"This is important that we have this course in Black and Hispanic studies spread across all of our school districts right now. I want it to be part of our regular curriculum. I just think it ought to be built into American history and social studies," said Lamont.
The governor says students are much better off having a full understanding of their histories.
State Senate Democrats say one big key to improving equity and inclusion in the state is making sure teachers are diverse, but that goal has proved challenging.
Educators say a number of factors present obstacles to diversifying the teaching profession in Connecticut, including the cost of living, the expense of student teaching and the state's certification requirements, which makes the recruitment of minority teachers, especially from others states, challenging.
Educators point to Capital Prep Charter School in Bridgeport as a place that has found solutions to recruiting a more diverse group of teachers.
One program allows teachers who work there three years to earn Connecticut certification.
Families News 12 spoke with at the school Tuesday say learning from a more diverse group of teachers has inspired their children.
"I want to become a math teacher," said fourth grader Darryck Norris. "I'm a Black man in this society, not that many Black people get to grow up and be a teacher at an amazing school like ours."
State Senate Democratic leaders say they hope to remove some of those barriers to recruiting teachers of color in the state, adding that currently more than 90% are white.


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