A more diverse teaching staff could be in the future for the Buffalo Public Schools, thanks to new funding that will help more minorities become teachers.
State and local leaders announced that $500,000 will be heading to the school district to help fund the “Teacher Diversity Pipeline.”
“This is not just an issue for the fast growing immigrant population that we have in our community, this is an issue for African American students and Latino students, to have a teacher to looks like them,” said Assemblymember Crystal Peoples-Stokes.
The pipeline is a program that partners with Buffalo State College to help minorities secure teaching credentials. The program will help the district’s existing supplemental teaching staff move towards becoming full-time teachers.
“We have a greater number of minority members in our teaching assistant and teaching aid ranks and so, getting those individuals to become teachers is of utmost importance, because they work with our students every day,” said Dr. Darren Brown-Hall, Buffalo Public School Chief of Staff.
According to information provided by the district, two thirds of the students in the city are minorities and 87 percent of the teaching staff are white.
Officials say increasing the diversity amongst the teaching staff will boost the academic performance of the students and help heal a cultural disconnect between the teachers and the students.
“Teachers lift the lives of our young people and when we have teachers that we can truly relate to we really have just decreased that distance between them,” Buffalo State College President Katherine S. Conway Turner.