Norfolk Public Schools’ HR Department receives teacher diversity grant

NORFOLK, Va. – The Virginia Department of Education is awarding $50,000 in grants to help around 337 provisionally licensed minority teachers in seven school divisions attain full state licensure.

Norfolk Public Schools will be receiving $10,000 of the $50,000 grant! The Department of Human Resources submitted the application on behalf of NPS in January.

The grants were authorized by the 2018 General Assembly in response to the August 2017 report of the Taskforce to Diversify Virginia’s Educator Pipeline.

The task force‘s recommendations included state assistance to help provisionally licensed minority teachers attain full state certification.

The funds from the grant will cover tutoring costs and fees for the content-knowledge assessments required by the state Board of Education for full licensure.

Norfolk Public Schools is committed to continually seek avenues to diversify our teaching staff and expand the pipeline to encourage more provisionally licensed teachers of color to complete their Praxis requirements and move into fully-licensed positions.  In doing so, we continually improve the quality of instruction and innovation for all students and schools throughout our district.  Being awarded this generous grant for Praxis assistance will significantly bolster and complement the existing supports NPS already has in place for new and provisionally licensed teachers,” said Tim Billups, Executive Director of Human Resources.

The seven school divisions awarded grants this month are as follows:

  •  Accomack County Public Schools — $4,216
  • Alexandria Public Schools — $3,693
  •  Franklin Public Schools — $6,709
  • Norfolk Public Schools — $10,000
  • Petersburg Public Schools — $9,000
  • Richmond Public Schools — $8,980
  • Virginia Beach Public Schools — $7,401

7% of the commonwealth’s public school teachers held provisional licenses during the 2017-2018. The percentage was two points higher in high-poverty schools, where 9 percent of teachers lack full state licensure.

“Improving teacher diversity must be part of the commonwealth’s strategy to recruit and retain the educator workforce necessary to prepare our growing and increasingly diverse student population for success,” said Governor Ralph Northam. “This funding will help to close the diversity gap between our teachers and students of color by focusing on the unique set of challenges faced by minority educators and teacher candidates in Virginia.”

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