ST. PAUL, MN— Today, the House Education Finance Division heard the Increase Teachers of Color and Indigenous Teachers Act of 2021, authored by Rep. Hodan Hassan (DFL-Minneapolis). The bill aims to attract and retain more Teachers of Color and Indigenous Teachers, with the goal of providing all students with equitable access to effective and diverse teachers who reflect the diversity of their students.
“We owe it to our students to give them the best education possible, and the most important factor in a quality education is our educators,” said Rep. Hassan, co-chair of the People of Color and Indigenous Caucus.
“It has been shown repeatedly that all of our students benefit when they have teachers of color and American Indian teachers, but this is especially true for our students of color and indigenous students. HF 217 will ensure that our school education system has adequate resources to hire and retain teachers of color and American Indian teachers, while also creating a space for anti-racist and culturally relevant learning to take place. The integration of these diverse perspectives and experiences will lead to improved outcomes for every student.”
“We can deliver a quality education and celebrate our diversity in Minnesota by recruiting and retaining more Indigenous teachers, and educators of color, so our classrooms reflect more of what our state looks like, “ said Rep. Jim Davnie (DFL-Minneapolis), chair of the House Education Finance Division.
The committee received supportive testimony from the State Indian Affairs Council and Three MN Ethnic Councils, Association of Metropolitan School Districts, the University of Minnesota, Augsburg University, Jessica Davis, Minnesota Teacher of the Year, 2019, Barnum Public Schools, Minnesota Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, Minnesota PTA, Minnesota Private College Council, St. Paul Public Schools, the Minnesota Association of School Administrators and the Minnesota School Boards Association, the Minnesota Association of School Administrators and the Minnesota School Boards Association, Minnesota Association of Charter Schools, and many students and teachers across the state.
The bill was laid over for possible inclusion to the larger education budget bill. Materials from the meeting can be accessed on the committee’s webpage.