Doug McCrory


Doug McCrory



May 20, 2021

Sen. McCrory Leads Approval of Bill to Support Minority Teacher Recruitment and Retention in Connecticut

Today, state Senator Doug McCrory (D-Hartford, Bloomfield, and Windsor), Senate Chair of the Education Committee and an educator for over 20 years, lead bipartisan approval of legislation to bolster minority teacher recruitment and retention in Connecticut, create a plan to encourage high school students to enter the teaching profession, and address implicit bias in the teacher hiring process. Senate Bill 1034, “An Act Concerning Minority Teacher Recruitment and Retention” moves to the state House of Representatives for further discussion and action.

“I know through my own lived experience as a Black man and an educator the impact a teacher of color can have on all of the students in their classroom. This impact is not just in the classroom but stays with a student, particularly students of color, for the rest of their educational journey. A diverse teacher workforce helps to improve a student’s educational experience. Even more, it assists in challenging implicit biases and helps students be able to see themselves one day as a teacher,” said Sen. McCrory. “This bill benefits the success of our students. At the same time, it seeks to create avenues for people to enter the well-paying, transformative career of being a teacher.”

During his opening remarks, Sen. McCrory said, “…what we’re trying to do with this piece of legislation is create a pathway so we can have more students being exposed to multiple teachers in the classroom who may look like them or come from a background they are because at the end of the day what we want to see happen in our state is make sure all our kids are being educated at the highest level… the research shows that all students at all academic levels are lifted up when they are taught by a diverse teaching population.”

To watch Sen. McCrory’s full opening statement on the Senate floor on Senate Bill 1034, click here.

“As House Chair of the Education Committee, I am pleased the Senate has passed a measure that will help with minority teacher recruitment and retention in the state,” Rep. Bobby Sanchez said. “Increasing the number of role models in the education profession, especially in the inner cities, is essential for our overall plan to improve student outcomes and successes. I am looking forward to seeing this legislation’s progress and the Governor’s signature.”

Senate Bill 1034 will strengthen efforts to increase diversity in Connecticut’s teacher workforce so that it reflects the numerous backgrounds of the state’s student population, while creating pathways to good-paying careers that are central to a young person’s academic achievement.

More than 40 percent of Connecticut’s student population are people of color. However, people of color make up less than 10 percent of the state’s public school teachers, according to the governor’s office in 2019.

The three main components of the bill are:

Establishing the Minority Candidate Certification, Retention or Residency Year Program

Senate Bill 1034 would create the minority candidate certification, retention, or residency year program. The state Department of Education (SDE) would administer the program and it would begin in fiscal year 2022 (i.e. 2021-22 school year) and continue each following year.

The overall program administered by SDE would help minority candidates – a person of color who is employed as a school paraprofessional or an associate instructor with a local or regional board of education – enroll in a residency program with the goal of becoming full-time, certified teachers once they have successfully finished their residency program. Additionally, the overall program managed by SDE would assist local and regional boards of education hire and retain the minority candidates who graduate from their residency program.

The residency program would be a State Board of Education approved certification program. In addition, the program would have participating candidates:

  • Serve in a role that would otherwise need professional certification and would be a full-time position for a period of 10 school months in a school district
  • Be supervised by a certified teacher or administrator, along with a supervisor from a regional educational service center (RESC). As an alternative to a supervisor from a RESC, a private, nonprofit teacher or administrator overseeing the certification program could serve in that role

A board of education participating in the residency program may hire a minority candidate situated in their school district following the candidate’s successful conclusion of the program.

Starting with fiscal year 2022, the bill would require that each board of education for an alliance district partner with a RESC or private, nonprofit teacher or administrator operating a residency program to sign up candidates and situate them in the school district as a participant in the program.

Hartford, Bloomfield, and Windsor were among the 2019-2020 SDE list of alliance districts.

Starting with fiscal year 2022 and each year after, SDE would reserve from an alliance district 10 percent of any funding increase the district received for that fiscal year that is above the amount it received for fiscal year 2020. SDE would use those reserved funds for distribution to the alliance districts to cover costs of the residency program.

An alliance district’s board of education may apply to SDE for funds to cover expenses associated with the aspects of the program. Allowed uses by the participating board of education for the funds distributed by SDE include: signing up minority candidates into a residency program, certification process for the program’s minority candidates, hiring of the candidates who have successfully finished a residency program, and retaining them as certified teachers in the school district.

Develop a Plan to Promote Teaching as Career Path to High School Students

Under Senate Bill 1034, the commissioner of the state Department of Education (SDE), the president of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system, and the dean of UConn’s Neag School of Education would collaborate to create a plan to help local and regional boards of education encourage high school students to consider teaching as a career option.

The developed plan would include avenues for boards of education to partner with educator preparation programs in Connecticut and establish counseling programs for high school students to learn about the teaching profession.

In addition, SDE would have to provide boards of education information promoting teaching as a career by September 1, 2021. The distributed information for school counselors and students would include materials on programs in Connecticut regarding educator preparation and alternative route to certification. Also, the information would have to be available on the SDE website.

Video Module Training Addressing Implicit Bias and Anti-Bias in Hiring of Teachers

Senate Bill 1034 directs the state Department of Education (SDE), in consultation with the Minority Teacher Recruitment Policy Oversight Council and State Education Resource Center (SERC), to create a video training module covering implicit bias and anti-bias in the hiring process. The module must be created and available for school district personnel by July 1, 2022.

This bill would require that any local board of education employee involved in or responsible for the teacher hiring process in the school district must complete the video module training before they can participate in the hiring process. This requirement goes into effect for the school year starting on July 1, 2023 (i.e. 2023-24 school year).