A Lakeville South High School senior spoke to house representatives at the Minnesota State Capitol March 22 about the Increase Teachers of Colors Act. Student Kevin Coons took the floor by sharing the importance of having more teachers of colors working in Minnesota schools.
“With the exception of parents, teachers are the biggest influence in our children, shaping the way we think, learn and prepare for the adult world. Teachers with the same ethnicity as a student who feels isolated can [help them] feel motivated and set an example that other teachers just can’t,” Coons said to representatives.
He also said teachers of colors would benefit non-minority students as well “because seeing and learning from someone who’s different and has different life experiences than you help other students prepare better for the people they’re going to meet.”
Hopefully, it would abolish some of the negative stereotypes, too, he added.
The Increase Teachers of Colors Act, which is chief authored by state Rep. Jon Koznick of Lakeville District 58A, seeks to “increase the percentage of teachers of color and American Indian teachers in Minnesota above four percent and the percentage of diverse teacher candidates above 10 percent by 2020.”
“As the Lakeville Area Public Schools District student population becomes more diverse, recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce is essential to ensuring a reduction in the achievement gap,” said Jacob Valtierra, school success liaison. “Research shows many students from diverse ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds perform better academically, behaviorally, and socially when their ethnicity is reflected in the workforce.”
To learn more about the Increase Teachers of Colors Act, visit the Minnesota State Legislature website.