JCPS remains focused on hiring teachers of color

Published: Oct. 28, 2020 at 7:20 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Just under a week away from a major yes/no vote for Jefferson County Public schools, the district is focusing on racial equity in the classroom.

With a potential tax increase looming for JCPS, Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio’s mission remains clear.

“Our goal will be that by 2025 our faculty and staff, and administrators reflect our student population,” Pollio said.

Dr. Pollio said Wednesday that 24% of recent hires have been teachers of color, but that still doesn’t match the 36% of students that are of color.

Pollio believes investment in racial equity is a step to fix that.

“Money matters in education,” Pollio said. “There is clear correlation between communities that fund their public schools and the outcomes that those schools have.”

JCPS is focused on hiring more teachers like Andrea Wynn, a science teacher at Stuart Academy that says she didn’t have a teacher of color in that field until she was in college.

“I really think we (teachers of color) bring an interesting perspective,” said Wynn. “I think it encourages [students of color], like anyone can be a scientist. ‘Look at this. I finally have a teacher of color in front of me teaching science’, so I really think we have a major impact on all students in JCPS.”

Wynn was studying to go to Med school when she started teaching part-time with JCPS. She ultimately decided to stay in the field of teaching.

On the ballot in the upcoming election, the yes/no vote for increased taxes in Jefferson County remains imperative if the district wants to continue making the progress of hiring more teachers like Wynn.

“We know that when we fund racial equity programs, like bringing teachers like Andrea into our classrooms,” said Dr. Pollio, “we know the research is clear, that achievement increases and especially achievement in black students.”

If the tax increase is passed, Dr. Pollio says every penny they spend will be documented and will appear on a dashboard that anyone can follow.

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