The Business Council of New York State supports S.1988 (Jackson) / A. 2247 (Hyndman) which would direct the commissioner of education to convene statewide and regional conventions to bring together underrepresented educators annually to discuss experiences, best practices, and afford networking, mentorship opportunities, and support.
While the education workforce has increased in population and diversity, it has continued to fail at increasing at a rate that represents the diversity of students. The COVID-19 pandemic has played a factor in this as well, given that many educators left the workforce for various reasons. The National Education Association collected data that showed, in 2022 alone, 55% of teachers had planned to leave the education workforce due to COVID. This was a significant increased from the 37% of teachers who reported so in 2021. In both years, the reporting data showed that the numbers were higher amongst Black and Latino educators, 62% and 59% respectively in 2022.i
Often enough, in schools where the majority of students were not white, the majority of teachers are. Across the nation 79% of teachers are white.ii The race of teachers – specifically which is reflective of students has positives outcomes in the classroom, on high school graduation and even college enrollment.iii Teachers of color make a lasting impact on students of color. They create representative schooling environments and education workforce beyond the classroom.
The lack of diversity in our education workforce not only leaves educators of color feeling isolated but also students. It is something that has effects on the success of both groups. The Business Council supports S.1988 (Jackson)/A. 2247 (Hyndman) so that the education workforce can expand and provide the support that is needed for educators, administrators, and students in our schools.