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Organization aims to place more minority teachers in San Diego schools

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Posted at 9:26 PM, Aug 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-16 00:26:11-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — As students start heading back to the classrooms, one organization is working to increase diversity in San Diego County schools.

"When you take a look at San Diego schools right now, students of color do not see themselves represented in their teachers or their school leaders," said Elsie Franco.

Franco is the Director of Alumni Recruitment for Teach For America San Diego.

The organization said almost 70% of a half-million students in San Diego County identify as a person of color, while only 25% of teachers do.

"Nearly half of the 506,000 students in San Diego County identify as Latinx, but fewer than 20% of the educators do," added Teach For America San Diego in an email to 10News.

"We have students who come to school by crossing the border every day. We have a large population of English language learners," Franco said.

The organization's Alumni Innovation program aims to place 30 minority teachers across the county's 42 school districts by the next school year.

Franco said they'll use their network of over 50,000 teachers to seek out educators with ties to San Diego.

"My classroom motto is that students can be successful today and in the future," Anthony Bradley said.

Bradley teaches 7th grade at Twin Peaks Middle School in Poway.

He said having teachers of color in the classroom helps foster a better learning environment.

"The students are looking at the teachers and they're looking for role models. A lot of people have that one teacher that really impacted their lives," said Bradley.

The organization is also working with several groups, such as the San Diego Foundation, to retain and support current teachers of color.

"This is about students feeling seen in the classroom and seeing in front of them hope and aspiration for the future," said Michelle Jaramillo, Director of Education Initiatives for the San Diego Foundation.