SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — As students begin to return to classrooms, an organization is working to increase diversity in San Diego County schools.
“When you look at schools in San Diego right now, students of color don’t see themselves represented in their teachers or their school leaders,” Elsie Franco said.
Franco is the Director of Graduate Recruitment for Teach for America San Diego.
The organization said nearly 70% of San Diego County’s half-million students identify as a person of color, compared to just 25% of teachers.
“Almost half of San Diego County’s 506,000 students identify as Latinx, but less than 20 percent of educators do,” Teach For America San Diego added in an email to 10News.
“We have students who come to school crossing the border every day. We have a large population of English learners,” Franco said.
The organization‘s Alumni Innovation program aims to place 30 minority teachers in the county’s 42 school districts by the next school year.
Franco said they would use their network of more than 50,000 teachers to seek out educators with ties to San Diego.
“My class motto is that students can succeed today and in the future,” said Anthony Bradley.
Bradley teaches Grade 7 at Twin Peaks Middle School in Poway.
He said having teachers of color in the classroom helps foster a better learning environment.
“Students look up to teachers and they look for role models. A lot of people have that teacher who really impacted their life,” Bradley said.
The organization also works with several groups, such as the San Diego Foundationto retain and support current teachers of color.
“It’s about students feeling seen in the classroom and seeing hope and aspiration for the future in front of them,” said Michelle Jaramillo, director of educational initiatives at the San Diego Foundation. .