Diversity Efforts for Teachers in Hamilton County

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HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF)- Hamilton County Schools are adopting news policies in hope of increasing diversity among educators.

“The desire would be for students in the classrooms and in the buildings have representation that looking like them” said District 5 school Board Member Karitsa Jones. “Have the same experiences as them. The same culture as them.”

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The State Board of Education adopted an educator diversity policy in February.

It focuses on recruiting and retaining minority staff members.

While partnering with the Tennessee Educators of Color Alliance, Hamilton County recently opened its own diversity and equity office.

It helps with representation and to meet the standard of an equal opportunity employer.

“We know there’s a shortage of teachers anyway due to a number of things that are going on in the world and of course the pandemic has not helped that but we hope that we can get teachers from all races to come in and educate our babies.”

Currently, more than 50% of Hamilton County students are minorities compared to 12% of educators.

The school district and TECA want to create a work environment that can encourage a future teachers to stay.

“What I know from having personal conversations with some minority teachers that have left, it runs from anything from lack of support, lack of understanding, feeling like you’re the only sometimes.”