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Boston, MA – The Educator Diversity Act Coalition – a diverse statewide group representing educators, school district leaders, higher education institutions, teacher training institutions and education advocacy groups all committed to increasing  the diversity of Massachusetts educator workforce – issued the following statement on the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) spending bill signed into law by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker:

“We applaud Governor Charlie Baker for signing this historic spending bill and making the necessary investments that educators and school leaders need to continue providing a high-quality education during this ongoing pandemic; especially the $10 million commitment of ARPA funds towards diversifying our educator workforce.  We thank the Governor, House Speaker Ron Mariano, Senate President Karen Spilka and the members of the House and Senate for ensuring this commitment to educator diversity was included as part of the bill.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on communities of color across the state, and that impact is definitely being felt by educators of color who are already underrepresented in our state’s educator workforce.

At a time when we are seeing growing ethnic and racial diversity among our student population, it is critical to the success of our Latinx, Black, Asian and Pacific Islander students that they have teachers in their lives that share their background and validate their identity and potential.

We call on the legislature to work with community-based organizations that are already doing tremendous work on educator diversity to ensure this money reaches school districts and education institutions ready to make educator diversity a reality in Massachusetts.”

In addition to this statement, several coalition members had the following to say:

“The Office of Recruitment, Cultivation and Diversity Programs in the Division of Equity, Strategy and Opportunity Gaps of the Boston Public Schools is thrilled and grateful for the funding specifically dedicated to supporting and increasing educator diversity across the Commonwealth. We thank the legislature for its leadership in this space as the additional resources will assist the BPS and all districts with its strategic goal of ensuring that the educators of our district reflect the students we serve.” – Rashaun J. Martin, Director of Retention Programs and Services for Educators of Color, Boston Public Schools

“Journey into Education and Teaching (JET) hails the passage by the Massachusetts legislature of the ARPA budget and is grateful for the $10 million commitment for educator diversity programs across the Commonwealth. Thank you to all the legislators and legislative leaders who have worked so hard to make this happen. This is an important investment that will benefit our educators and students.

Educator diversity in the Commonwealth is tantamount to all students achieving academic and life success.  JET is committed to mentoring public school paraprofessionals to become teachers in urban school districts across the state where the need for teacher diversity is the greatest.  JET participants are 75% educators of color and all are from the community. We look forward to new opportunities that these new resources bring for serving more urban paraprofessionals.” – Pam Herrup, JET Co-Founder and Director

“He is Me Institute is excited to see our state take these vital steps towards increasing and sustaining teacher diversity in our schools. This early commitment is a sign to students, families, and teachers that we value them and will do whatever it takes — even on a policy level– to give them the opportunities that they deserve. Thank you for hearing the concerns of and supporting the education ecosystem in this paramount endeavor.” – Robert J. Hendricks III, Founder & CEO of He is Me Institute

“Teach Western Mass celebrates the investment by the Massachusetts legislature to support efforts to diversify the educator workforce and close the digital equity gap, which we know will positively impact our students and families of color. Teach Western Mass is focused on improving schools and supporting teachers who believe all students have the right to a quality education. We know, now more than ever, that in order to make this a reality for our students, a diversified educator workforce and access to broadband are necessities for our students and families here in Western Mass and across the state. Thank you to all the legislative leaders who led the way with this historic passage and special thanks to Chairwoman Alice Peisch, Chairman Jason Lewis, and Senator Adam Gomez.” – Pema Latshang, Founding Executive Director of Teach Western Mass. 

Media Relations Contact:

Anthony Perez