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State Senator

Gary Winfield

Representing New Haven & West Haven

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Sen. Winfield Applauds Senate Passage of Minority Teacher Recruitment Bill

HARTFORD— Senator Gary Winfield (D-New Haven) today voted in favor of a bill that will help diversify classroom staff across Connecticut by codifying the work of the Minority Teacher Recruitment Oversight Council to enhance minority teacher recruitment and retention throughout the state. The bill passed unanimously in the Senate and now heads to the House for consideration.

"Our teachers should reflect the diversity of our state. This isn't just important for minority students it's important for all of us. Teachers help shape the minds of our young people and have a lasting impact on every person they touch. When students of all races see teachers of color in front of the classroom it helps to challenge implicit biases and improve their educational experience," Sen. Winfield said. "With that said, this bill is especially important for black and brown students. In Connecticut, students of color make up more than a third of the population in our classrooms but only seven percent of our teachers identify as non-white. Studies have shown that students are more successful when their teacher reflects their own racial or ethnic group. In addition, the gap in school dropout and passing rates between white and minority students fall by roughly half when students are taught by a minority instructor."

Senate Bill 455 requires the Department of Education to take certain actions to recruit and retain minority teachers, amend its regulations relating to teacher certification, issue a provisional educator certificate to certain holders of charter school educator permits, and issue an initial educator certificate to applicants who have passed a relevant examination or completed advanced coursework, and to revise the membership of the minority teacher recruitment and retention task force.

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