Posted on December 13, 2022

Minnesota Schools Tried to Recruit Teachers of Color With New Bonus Program

Eric Campuzano, Star Tribune, December 12, 2022

Minnesota lawmakers last year earmarked $400,000 to help several school districts attract more educators of color from other states, aiming to boost a teaching corps that doesn’t match an increasingly diverse student body.

But so far, schools have hired only six educators who are Black, Indigenous or other people of color, and nine of the 11 participating districts didn’t hire any. And, according to a legislative report published by the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) this month, none of them immediately qualified for the bonus that is tied to a certain level of teaching license.

“While this result falls short of the program’s goals, there were several lessons learned from the pilot experience that will lead to stronger results in the future,” Tamara Valmé, program lead at MDE, wrote in the legislative report.

The Come Teach in Minnesota program represents one of the most recent pushes by state and school officials to create more parity between Minnesota’s rapidly diversifying student body and its largely white teaching corps. In order to qualify for the hiring bonus, out-of-state educators must be eligible for a Tier 3 license, which includes several requirements and can be renewed indefinitely.


The report suggested three key fixes for the coming year: nixing the requirement that teachers be licensed in another state, allowing educators with a Tier 2 license to qualify for the bonus and allowing districts to use grant funds to pay for out-of-state recruiting trips.

Nearly 37% of Minnesota’s public school students are pupils of color, according to Department of Education data, while 95% of the state’s educators are white.

In the seven-county metro area, students of color represent nearly 48% of enrollment and 88% of teachers are white. {snip}