The Pulse

House bill orders study of programs created to increase number of minority male teachers

By: - May 26, 2023 2:00 pm
student of color in a classroom

North Carolina lawmakers want to study the effectiveness of programs designed to increase the number of minority male teachers. Photo: Adobe Stock

A bill requiring state education leaders to conduct a study of state and national programs designed to increase the number of Black male educators in North Carolina’s public schools will be taken up next week by the House K-12 Education Committee.

Black men made up less than 2% of the nation’s public school teachers during the 2020-21 school year, according to the National Teacher and Principal Survey. Meanwhile, whites are roughly 80% of public school teachers. Students of color makeup more than half of students who attend the state’s public schools.

Some studies show that Black students are more likely to graduate high school and attend college if they have just one Black teacher in elementary school.

House Bill 833 would require the N.C. Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) to study the programs’ impacts on minority male enrollment in educator preparation programs and employment in public schools.

The impact of Call Me MiSTER (Mentors Instructing Students Toward Effective Role models) program at Western Carolina University and the Marathon Teaching Institute at North Carolina Central University and programs with proven records of success in other states would be included in the studies. The Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee would receive a report when the study is completed.

NCDPI would be awarded $150,000 in nonrecurring funds for the 2023 fiscal year to conduct the study if the bill is approved.

HB 833 has bipartisan support. It is sponsored by Republicans Tricia Cotham, the House Education K-12 Committee chair from Mecklenburg County and Ken Fontenot of Wilson County. Cecil Brockman, a Guilford County Democrat is also a bill sponsor.

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Greg Childress
Greg Childress

Education Reporter Greg Childress covers all aspects of public education in North Carolina, including debates over school funding, curricula, privatization, and teacher pay and licensing.