JCPS looking to hire more minority teachers - WDRB 41 Louisville News

JCPS looking to hire more minority teachers

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NAACP education director Kathryn Wallace speaks alongside JCPS Superintendent Donna Hargens at a meeting Wednesday, March 11. NAACP education director Kathryn Wallace speaks alongside JCPS Superintendent Donna Hargens at a meeting Wednesday, March 11.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- On Wednesday, Jefferson County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Donna Hargens met with members of Louisville's NAACP chapter to discuss issues from student achievement to the hiring of minority teachers.

“We know that it's increased slightly but it's pretty steady and it hasn't increased the way we would like it to in particular teachers,” Hargens said of minority hiring.

At Monday's school board morning, representatives from the JCPS human resources department outlined several steps to bring in more minority teachers. Currently, 51 percent of students enrolled at JCPS schools are from minority groups; however, only 16 percent of teachers are. One of the reasons JCPS cites as an issue is a decrease in the availability of minority teachers over the last ten years.

“Education is a community-wide endeavor and we've got to pull more people to get them involved,” local NAACP chapter president Raoul Cunningham said.

JCPS says it's on par with the national average of minority teachers but that it must still do more. JCPS says they've seen a one percent increase in minority hiring over the past year.

“That's a baby step,” Cunningham said, “We need to take a bigger step and widen our recruitment effort.”

Representatives from the human resources department on Monday said that widening recruiting efforts is one of their steps to hire more minority teachers. They also want to bring the disparity levels to the attention of those making teacher hires.

“There is part of our strategic plan that says our employee population should mirror our student population and we are not near to that mirror happening,” Hargens said at Wednesday's meeting.

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