Bruce Harrell, Mayor
Dr. Dwane Chappelle, Director
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 31, 2022
Contact: Sage Leibenson, email@example.com, 206.507.6701
DEEL Awards Six Organizations Nearly $900K to Increase Educator Diversity and Organizational Development
SEATTLE (August 31) – The Seattle Department of Education and Early Learning (DEEL) announced today awards of $893K to six organizations to expand pathways into the education field and support worker retention for educators of color. Building on recommendations from the Equitable Communities Initiative, Educator Diversity funding will support up to 520** educators through recruitment, program completion and other professional development, and mentorship. Funds will also expand organizations’ capacity to help further their reach and impact.
Educator Diversity funding complements a range of DEEL-funded investments that address the imbalance of culturally diverse educators in Seattle Public Schools. According to the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, about 790 (21%) SPS classroom teachers and 29,000 (54%) of students identified as people of color in the 2020-21 school year. Studies show investments supporting a diverse community of educators entering and remaining in the field lead to improved test scores, higher enrollment in advanced-level coursework, increased graduation rates, and college matriculation for students of color.
“By investing in educator diversity, we’re working to ensure all Seattle students have teachers who make them feel safe and supported in school,” said Mayor Bruce Harrell. “We’re proud to partner with community organizations as One Seattle to support educators of color to enter and remain in the workforce, something we know has a big impact on student outcomes.”
“Representation matters. It gives our kids an opportunity to learn in environments that affirm their identity, history, and the journey many before them have taken to be successful,” said Dr. Dwane Chappelle, Director of DEEL. “Ensuring our educators of color have accessible and supportive professional pathways is key to cultivating learning environments where students thrive.”
“Seattle Public Schools is committed to a culturally responsive workforce. Diversity in our staff, school leadership, and in our central office is a primary goal,” said Dr. Sarah Pritchett, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources for SPS. “Through our strong partnership with DEEL, we’re building upon strategies that support aspiring educators as they enter the field, while sustaining inclusive learning environments in our schools.”
Community input was at the center of the investment design process through a comprehensive engagement approach, including youth listening sessions and interviews with organizations working to support educator diversity. Based on this feedback, funded programs will support professional development in at least one of five strategic areas:
- Entry: Outreach, recruitment, and enrollment in teacher preparation programs.
- Teacher Education Program Retention: Support to persist and complete preparation programs, including trainings focused on skills-building and leadership development.
- In-Service Classroom Retention: Professional learning promoting peer-to-peer connection and mentorship leading to persistence and job satisfaction.
- Professional Advancement: Support for educators interested in teaching, leadership, or administration certification.
- Professional and Organizational Development: Resources supporting progress toward teaching certification for non-teaching staff and expanded organizational capacity for community organizations.
First-time grant recipient Joe Truss of Truss Leadership shared, “To truly work toward antiracist outcomes in schools, educators of color must be at the center of the work. Truss offers a community where teachers can be their whole selves, support their retention, and explore the systemic changes needed to keep themselves and our students of color thriving.” Funding will help Truss Leadership create professional learning spaces that honor the unique experiences of educators of color, encourage strategies for well-being, and promote best teaching practices.
Long-term FEPP Levy Opportunity & Access partner, Technology Access Foundation (TAF), will use Educator Diversity funds to support 70 Martinez Fellows across Seattle with workshops in liberation pedagogy, graduate-level scholarships, and early career coaching. “We bring educators together to build a community of liberated leaders creating lasting change in the education system and centering the achievement of students of color. Our students deserve to learn in environments that cultivate their genius and inspire confidence in their unique voice and accomplishments,” said Trish Millines Dziko, Co-founder and Executive Director of TAF.
Other DEEL-funded educator diversity investments include the Academy for Rising Educators and Seattle Teacher Residency, both in partnership with Seattle Public Schools. Since 2019, DEEL’s educator diversity investments have served about 250 educators.
The full list of Educator Diversity recipients include:
- ACE Academy – $150,000
- Filipino American Educators of Washington* – $150,000
- My Brother’s Teacher – $150,000
- Praxis Institute for Early Childhood Education* – $150,000
- Technology Access Foundation – $148,797
- Truss Leadership* – $144,000
*First time award recipient of DEEL funding
Programs will occur between September 2022 and December 2023, serving educators across all council districts.
**Updated September 20, 2022.
The City of Seattle Department of Education and Early Learning’s mission is to transform the lives of Seattle children, youth, and families through strategic investments in education. www.seattle.gov/education
# # #