Extensive research has found that a diverse educator workforce is beneficial to all students, but especially students of color. Yet, the vast majority of teachers in North Carolina are white women. In fact, data from 2018-19 school year indicate that while 53% of NC students are nonwhite, this is true of only 21% of educators.
The increasing diversity of NC’s population, especially among school-aged students, underscores the need for more educators of color and provides a sense of urgency to improve recruitment and preparation.
In December 2020, the DRIVE Task Force, appointed by Gov. Roy Cooper and led by Dr. Anthony Graham, issued a report with 10 key recommendations to increase teacher diversity. Recommendations include affordable postsecondary access, diversity goals for schools and districts, and support networks for educators of color.
Additionally, the report has 46 strategies and four performance indicators for educator workforce diversity.
“Transforming a system requires courage, imagination, and innovative thinking. The Task Force believes this plan pushes the state of North Carolina into bold terrain that will ultimately improve outcomes for all students by increasing the number of K-12 educators of color who serve in our communities for decades to come.„
Developing a Representative & Inclusive Vision for Education Final Report and Recommendations
Authored by: The DRIVE Task Force, with support from The Hunt Institute
In 2019, The Belk Foundation invested $40,000 in the NC Business Committee for Education for the DRIVE Summit, a precursor of the DRIVE Task Force.