Jefferson County
July 16, 2019 5:00 PM
Work Session: Minority Recruitment Efforts of Jefferson County Public Schools
I. Report Regarding Minority Recruitment Efforts of Jefferson County Public Schools

7 16 19 JCBE Work Session Audio

As part of a broader commitment to racial educational equity for students and families, Jefferson County Public Schools has established a priority to increase the number of people of color, including African-Americans, who are employed by the District as certified teachers, administrators, skilled trade positions, and other areas of leadership. In addition, the Board has adopted a policy intended to increase participation by minority, women, and veteran-owned businesses as vendors in the District’s bidding and purchasing process for construction, architecture and engineering, goods, and professional services,

While 36 percent of JCPS students identify as African-American, and 56 percent are students of color, only 13 percent of JCPS teachers are African-American, and 16 percent are people of color. National data show that while people of color have entered the teaching profession at higher rates than whites over the last several decades, they have also left teaching at higher rates, particularly when they work in schools with few or no other certified colleagues of color.

As an important component of the District’s Racial Equity Pillar, the Human Resources, Diversity, Equity, and Poverty, and Schools Divisions have focused significant attention on increasing the number of people of color in certified positions. Over the last 18 months, the District has made notable early progress. Since January, 2018 through the 2018-19 school year, minorities represented 22 percent of newly hired teachers, 56 percent of newly hired principals, and 37 percent of all newly hired administrators.  

Implementation of the Teacher Residency Model, revisions to the principal slating process, and other strategies that have been effective in other districts, will assist the District in building upon early successes to increase minority representation in certified teaching and administrative positions, leading to improved outcomes for students.

Just as applicant recruitment alone has not decreased the shortage of minority teachers over many years, recruitment has also been insufficient to increase the number of people of color working for the District in skilled trades. The District has also had limited success in creating an equitable leadership pipeline for people moving from entry level positions into roles of greater responsibility.

The TRADES initiative is designed to increase racial equity among the skilled trades within the District by creating a graduated, tiered system where employees graduate from tier to tier based on-the-job training and licensure, rather than based on vacancies. TRADES will allow the District to create a workforce that mirrors our student body, expanding the number of tradespeople from underrepresented population, and create a wider and more diverse leadership pipeline.

Submitted by: Mr. Jimmy Adams, Dr. John Marshall, and Dr. Michael Raisor