Commission on Human Rights
KY Human Rights Commission says number of minority educators is too low
LOUISVILLE – The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights released a report, today, called, Minority Educators in Kentucky Public Schools. The commission compiled statistical information from the Kentucky Department of Education and other sources as its basis for the report. The document illustrates the shortage of minority educators in Kentucky’s 174 school districts.
Executive Director John J. Johnson said, “Although the shortage is a national trend, the state of Kentucky has fallen behind many others.”
Officials are aware of the minority educator shortage and the state has placed many programs to overcome it, but the problem persists, he said.
“This report is an invitation to public officials and all Kentucky citizens to evaluate the current programs in place and creatively design new ones that attract minority students to become educators,” Executive Director Johnson said.
According to the report, only 4 percent of public school teachers belong to a minority, yet approximately 14 percent of the student population consists of minorities.
The commission produced the report at the request of Rev. Louis Coleman of Louisville, Ky. The late civil rights activist came to the commission approximately two weeks before his death earlier this year and asked the commission to address the issue.
The commission published recommendations along with the report. The recommendations include the creation of tax incentives and student loan forgiveness to minority teacher recruits.
“Minority student education does not necessarily require minority teachers,” the report says, “but diversity among teachers is very important because [because]…minority teachers bring positive images and varied perspectives to their students.” Kentucky education experts like Dr. Blain Hudson of the University of Louisville have said that minority and low income students perform better when there is diversity in the classroom. “We believe this includes diversity among their teachers, also,” Executive Director Johnson said.
Minority Educators in Kentucky’s Public Schools is online at the commission website: www.kchr.ky.gov. Click on reports and publications on the left, then click left on reports and scroll down.