Embrace Diversity in Education: Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara Calls on Governor Hochul to Enact Teaching Profession Diversity Bill Ahead of New School Year

Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara is calling on Governor Kathy Hochul to sign a transformative bill that he co-sponsored (A.0068A), which has successfully passed both houses of the New York State Legislature. This legislation holds the potential to revolutionize New York's teaching workforce by championing diversity and inclusivity.

The bill focuses on the development of "Grow Your Own Initiatives" at School Districts and Boards of Cooperative Educational Services, addressing the pressing need for more inclusivity within the state's educational system. Its core objective is to encourage school districts and Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) to establish "grow your own initiatives" aimed at attracting candidates from underrepresented backgrounds into the teaching profession. Recognizing the profound impact of diverse educators, the legislation highlights the significance of guidance and support to create clear pathways for individuals from all walks of life.

This comprehensive bill outlines an approach that involves collaboration between the Commissioner of Education and higher education institutions. The guidance provided by these entities will empower school districts and BOCES to develop initiatives that encompass a range of factors, including the recruitment, early pipeline establishment, and retention of underrepresented candidates in the teaching profession. Assemblyman Santabarbara's commitment to fostering diversity and equity within educational institutions is aligned with this multifaceted approach.

Reports have consistently underscored the imperative for legislative action to rectify existing disparities. A 2022 report from the Education Trust-New York laid bare a stark reality: more than one in five New York students attend schools without any teachers of color. This sobering statistic highlights the urgency of Assemblyman Santabarbara's mission to reshape the educational landscape in the state.

"In acknowledging the staggering statistics brought forth by this report, it is imperative to recognize that the presence of diverse teachers is a cornerstone in advancing educational equity and fostering success for every student," stated Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara. "Research consistently underscores the positive impact of diverse educators, yet recent analysis indicates that New York has not made significant strides in cultivating a more diverse teacher workforce. This bill serves as a tangible step towards narrowing this gap and enhancing the quality of education for all."

With the bill's successful passage in both legislative chambers, Assemblyman Santabarbara urges Governor Kathy Hochul to solidify its transformative impact by promptly signing it into law. This pivotal moment marks a significant stride towards a more inclusive and representative teaching profession in New York.