Education Committee

March 12, 2019

Submitted by: NASW/CT Diversity Committee

Honorable Representative Sanchez, Senator McCrory and the Education Committee,

The National Association of Social Workers CT Chapter Diversity Committee is in support of the proposed language (Sec. 2 10-146c, Sec. 3 10-145b (d), Sec.4, Sec. 5 10a-168a, Sec. 6) contained in Raised Bill 1022, An Act Concerning Minority Teacher Recruitment and Retention.

The National Association of Social Workers – Connecticut Chapter, Board of Directors has recently commissioned the Diversity Committee to support diversity through social work and development; to advance professional standards and improve services related to awareness of diversity, equity and oppression; and to promote social justice through public policy and action.

The Diversity Committee is comprised of social workers at the MSW, and PhD levels who are dedicated to the profession, clients, social justice and the NASW Code of Ethics. Therefore, please accept this submission of testimony in consideration of Raised Bill No. 1022.

According to Connecticut’s State Education Resource Center, great progress has been made toward diversifying the workforce of educators over the past 20 years. The amount of minority teachers has nearly doubled. Yet, there still continues to be a shortage of minority teachers (2017). As the population of our nation and state grows more racially and ethnically diverse, it is of utmost importance that the education workforce mirrors those changes.

As you know, in 2016, the Connecticut State Board of Education “adopted a plan to make progress on increasing the racial, ethnic and linguistic diversity of the state’s educator workforce.” However, concerns remain regarding recruitment, retainment and equal employment opportunities. For example, the Connecticut State Board of Education Data System reports “739 educators of color, certified in CT in the past three years, were not employed in CT public schools” (CT Department of Education, 2019).

Research confirms many positive aspects of employing of minority educators. For instance, it is confirmed that underserved populations have improved academic success “when their teachers reflect their racial or ethnic groups.” Furthermore, employing minority teachers demonstrates an appreciation for diverse populations, minority teachers help create cultural competence and provide role models whom minority students can identify with.

To better address the challenges and barriers minority educators encounter, the Diversity Committee particularly supports the language included in Section 4 to institute a “minority loan reimbursement grant program” and Section 5, which provides for a minority teacher incentive program, and Section 6, which implements “culturally responsive pedagogy and practice”. These amendments will address barriers and provides incentive for minority educators to enter and remain in the profession. Thus, this will lead to closing the gaps observed particularly in urban areas.

Therefore, the Diversity Committee respectfully requests passage of the aforementioned sections contained in Bill No. 1022. In addition, Committee members would be honored to provide any additional information and offer their support toward instituting legislation which positively impacts underserved populations.


NASW/CT Diversity Committee

LaQueshia Clemmons, LMSW (co-chair)

Marlanda Hamilton, LMSW (co-chair)

Sherryl Chin, MSW

Alberto Cifuentes, Jr., LMSW

Antonia Cordero, LMS, DSW

Cheryl Green, LCSW, Ph.D.

Irwin Krieger, LCSW

Karen McLean, LMSW, Ph.D.

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