Legislature passes bill to get more minority teachers into classrooms

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (March 10, 2016) – The Indiana legislature passed a bill on Thursday that will help get more minority teachers into classrooms.

House Bill 1179 will provide financial assistance for minority students who wish to pursue education as a career. The bill is now headed to the governor’s desk for consideration.

Stand for Children Indiana’s Executive Director Justin Ohlemiller released the following statement on today’s final passage of House Bill 1179. “It’s critical that our educators reflect the communities in which they teach. That’s why we applaud the legislature for its efforts to increase the number of minority teachers in the classroom,” Ohlemiller said.

Ohlemiller pointed to 2014 data from the Indiana Department of Education that showed that more than half of Marion County/Indianapolis students represented minority populations, yet nearly 86 percent of teachers in the county were white.

“We need to incent talented minority students to consider the education field, especially teaching. This stipend program is a positive step in that direction,” Ohlemiller said.

According to Indiana State Representative Donna Harris, students who qualify for the stipend can receive up to $5,000 if they have a grade point average of 3.5 to 4.0, and up to $4,000 for a GPA of 3.0 to 3.5.