Colorado program offers Black teachers additional $20k in salary

Less than 2 percent of Colorado's public school teachers were Black during the 2019-2020 school year

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The Sachs Foundation, a Colorado-Springs organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities to Black Coloradans, has partnered with Colorado College to help attract, support, and retain Black teachers.

According to the Denver Post, the Colorado Department of Education data showed that less than 2 percent of Colorado’s public school teachers were Black during the 2019-2020 school year.

Participants from Colorado College could receive $1,000 for an internship with a school, non-profit or community center in order to get paid experience working with K-12 students.

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The Sachs Foundation’s $575,000 grant will provide two Master of Arts in Teaching scholarships, along with summer fellowships and internships. The foundation will help supplement their participant’s teachers salary up to $20,000 annually — $10,000 through a stipend and the other $10,000 upon their agreement to serve as a Sachs mentor during the first three years of their professional career.

Isabella Hageman, a 19-year-old college freshman, is the first student to sign up for the teachers program that’ll begin this semester. “I want to be able to connect on a deeper level with other students of color and be more culturally aware and sensitive. I know when I was young, teachers would always come up to me and touch my hair and things like that,” Hageman said.

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Manya Whitaker, chair of the Colorado College education department, said that 87 percent of teachers are white despite the diverse population of students.

“As a teacher educator, in my 10 years at this institution, we have never had one of our pre-service teachers intern in a classroom with a Black teacher because that’s how few we have here in Colorado Springs,” Whitaker told the outlet. “We try every year. We look for it. I just so hope this helps disrupt that narrative.”

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