Strategies for Policymakers

Leaders in this category include elected state representatives—especially those serving on their legislature’s committee(s) that oversee education—as well as those elected or appointed to their state’s respective governing boards of education (pK-12 and higher education).

To see strategies, make a selection below.

Cultivating an interest in becoming an educator

  • Provide funding for a comprehensive, region-wide initiative to promote teaching as a profession.
  • Allocate funding for programs that welcome, train, support, and hire racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse people to become paraeducators and substitute teachers and then train and support them in obtaining teacher certification.
  • Where elected and appointed policymakers have a responsibility around certification requirements, partner with racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse communities to remove barriers to access.
  • Connect with the schools within your district and find mutually agreeable times to visit and listen to students, staff, educators, administrators, and community members to understand beliefs and systems that turn people away from education.
  • Ensure that career and technical education (CTE) education programs and pathways are sufficiently supported financially and leveraged in policy. Remove barriers to equitable access to pathway opportunities (some examples of this might include funding for grants, transportation, supplies, and access for all students).
  • Allocate resources to require school districts to engage communities of color and multilingual communities in building pathways into teacher education programs.

Providing access to and supporting the completion of education preparation programs

  • Remove barriers to accessing Pell Grants for adult education enrollees to participate in education courses leading to certification.
  • Pass legislation requiring educators to participate in antiracist and anti-bias training; allocate funding for the training and to support schools and districts in their ongoing professional development.
  • If the elected and appointed policymakers in your state are responsible for certification requirements, create a micro- credentialing or endorsement for culturally responsive teaching (either at the pre-service or inservice level).
  • Allocate funding for districts to cover the cost for paraprofessionals to become certified teachers.
  • Require annual reporting on the percentage of faculty and students of color in educator preparation programs.
  • Require educator prep programs to conduct stakeholder surveys to evaluate the cultural competency of those who work with educator preparation candidates.
  • Allocate funding to support partnerships between Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs), districts, and schools to provide experiences in K-12 schools for college students in their first two years.
  • If the elected and appointed policymakers in your state are responsible for certification requirements, allocate funding to cover the costs for candidates whose credentials require translation.

Streamlining certification and licensure

  • If the elected and appointed policymakers in your state are responsible for certification requirements, shift away from narrow examinations such as for certification and toward alternative ways for candidates to demonstrate skills and competencies, such as portfolios, demonstrations, or expanded waivers.
  • If the elected and appointed policymakers in your state are responsible for certification requirements, implement full certification reciprocity across the region.
  • If the elected and appointed policymakers in your state are responsible for certification requirements, require streamlining certification requirements and making obtaining a license and endorsements clear.
  • If the elected and appointed policymakers in your state are responsible for certification requirements, create opportunities for groups of educators who may be displaced (from other countries) to become certified in your state.

Recruiting and hiring diverse educators

  • Pass legislation to subsidize moving expenses for linguistically, ethnically, and racially diverse educators.
  • Ensure all legislation has clear responsibilities for school boards and accountability mechanisms to ensure compliance.
  • Pass specific legislation with hiring goals for educators and superintendents of color with clear and actionable accountability mechanisms for local districts to support compliance.
  • Require school boards to participate in anti-bias training and to update their hiring policies and practices to be in alignment with statewide goals and requirements.
  • Require the collection and reporting of demographic information of hired candidates and retirees from all schools and districts.
  • Encourage, incentivize, and require the creation of professional learning networks for people making hiring decisions; members of these networks should share ideas, strategies, resources, and support while also engaging in anti-bias education.
  • Allocate funding to create a position at the state education agency to support the diversification of the educator workforce, promote stronger collaboration across agencies, and support the development and sharing of resources.
  • Incentivize, support, and require districts to design and implement a hiring plan for diversifying the educator workforce.

Supporting, retaining, an promoting diverse educators

  • Pass legislation with targets for hiring superintendents of color and accountability mechanisms to ensure compliance.
  • Pass legislation to increase funding for under-resourced schools to provide competitive pay to teachers and administrators.
  • Commission a study to examine salaries for educators and administrators; disaggregate the data by gender, race, and ethnicity. Widely publicize the results.
  • Require best practices for retaining diverse educators (like affinity groups) through state or district policy and allocate funding to support implementation.
  • Pass legislation to mandate district induction and mentoring programs.
  • Allocate funding to support a website serving as a regional online hub that provides supports and resources around becoming a teacher and advancing through a career in education.

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