Governor Cooper calls for more teachers of color during education summit at NC State

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- The summit held inside the student center at NC State on Tuesday set out to help make North Carolina classrooms more diverse.

The summit was called DRIVE, Developing a Representative and Inclusive Vision for Education.

"This is actually the first intentional effort on a state level in North Carolina to build, and sustain a pipeline of educators and school leaders of color. That's important work," Sonja Gannt, director of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Foundation told the government, business and education leaders gathered at the summit.

Governor Roy Cooper announced the formation of a task force to feed that pipeline. He told the group the need for more diversity in front of North Carolina's public school classrooms is acute, after state lawmakers eliminated one path to the profession: Teaching Fellows scholarships.

"The General Assembly in a limited way put the teaching fellows scholarship back in, which are designed of course to recruit people into the teaching profession. Not a single historically black college or university is included in that list of schools that can have teaching fellows scholarships. So that's going backward," Cooper said.

More than half the state's public school students are people of color, but just 20 percent of their teachers look like them. Cooper said that has to change.

Cooper said Increasing diversity in front of the classroom will benefit all students in the long run, as young people see themselves reflected in the evolving multicultural pool of educators.

Here is the governor's executive order establishing the task force.
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